Clint Smith

For Charles

               On January 8, 1811 three men gathered together and planned what would be the largest
slave revolt in American History, rallying an army of 500 slaves in New Orleans, LA to
fight and die for freedom. Charles Deslondes, a mixed race slave driver, was their leader.

Charles, I imagine there came a point
where you decided enough was enough,
the sound of cow hide against flesh,

the alchemy of blood & sweat sitting
atop your lip, how the wind
from the Mississippi cooled it when

it raced across your mouth, teasing
your tongue to follow it beyond this
place. Or maybe they called you boy