There’s nothing wrong with choosing a South to depict, just so long as you recognize that it’s not THE South. Lots of people, from cavaliers to carpetbaggers to snowbirds, have been seeing the South through a money-colored lens for generations. Thank God it’s not the only lens in town, though.
by Kati-Jane Hammet
High in the dark, eyes closed and stretching to listen,
Listening, then, for something inside to be reflected
Outwards, light flashing through the bamboo shades and the shades
of eyelids, tight, moving with the tempo of tentative touches
on the tin roof, skin melding with the worn leather of the couch,
Slipping sideways, stuck, breath rising through the cage of ribs—
Up to the ceiling, or further out, and in, then where sight stops,
Even in the dark, and the gathering concussion of air and water
Displaced by sound, ripping through the night.
Then the silence.
Kati-Jane Hammet, a graduate student at the University of South Alabama, lives in downtown Mobile, which she has added to her collection of Southern port cities. She attended the College of Charleston and grew up making regular pilgrimages to Savannah to shop at the mall in the years before her hometown of Bluffton, South Carolina, got known and swoll up with newcomers.