Natasha Trethewey

3. Secular

Workweek’s end
and there’s enough
block-ice in the box
to chill a washtub of colas
and one large melon,
dripping green.
After service, each house opens
heavy doors to street and woods,
one clear shot from front to back —
bullet, breeze, or holler.
A neighbor’s Yoo-hoo reaches her
out back, lolling, pulling in wash,
pillow slips billowing
around her head like clouds.
Up the block,
a brand-new Grafonola,
parlor music, blues parlando —
Big Mama, Ma Rainey, Bessie —
baby shake that thing like a saltshaker.
Lipstick, nylons
and she’s out the door,
tipping past the church house,
Dixie Peach in her hair, 
greased forehead shining
like gospel, like gold.