Southern Etymology

by Josh Daniel

Washcloth is to warshrag
as fuck you is to bless your heart.
Here in the south, not everything is double-talk.

Hospitality? It’s sincere. You need a helping hand?
Get two plus an ice-cold beer.

But race comes up and white hands wave like: danger
like: we know what we have done
we refuse to pull the gravel from our teeth.

We eat biscuits on porches once sprayed red with blood.

An etymology of the south must include an accounting
of the statues of confederates still slicing whips through the air.

Look! over there: A loving white hand on a young man’s shoulders, both pointing to a flag.
A lack of looking at the flames running up stripes
scorching stars from below

Josh Daniel currently lives in southern Kentucky, where he recently finished up his M.A. in English Literature. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and writing poetry and hiking with his fiance.

Artwork by: Quang Nguyen Vinh