Allison Chestnut

County Road 518 at County Road 24

August in the Delta never changes.
Heat begets more heat. Dust and sun
pile on ignorant monotony, until
something finally breaks. Perhaps
it is the sky that splits itself, rain
drops like blood upon adobed clay.
But August has no comfort. Only
heat welcomes visitors at Money.

Money seems an awkward name,
even for a town once proud of
commerce. Where have those greenbacks
gone? Who guards caste and honor
now? The old ones who have stayed
will not say his name: Emmett Till.
But they know. Why would strangers
stop here?  Bryant’s Grocery stands

abandoned and decayed, like useless
currency upon a worthless standard,
a vague address of  last remains,
too ruined for modernity; a skeleton
of rotten boards whistle-lynched
by kudzu ropes, (the only thriving thing
in sight) and Money’s folks like motes
of dust displaced beyond the rain.