charlotte watson sherman

Killing Color

Tales of identity, initiation, spirits, love, and loss spun beneath the Tree of Remembrance.


This was sacred ground. And somethin in the land called out to Nathan

Honeywood soon as he stepped his broken-soled, heavy brown shoes down from

that train.

Somethin liquid and light as air snaked its way from his soles, round his

ankles, and up into the muscles of his calves. It wiggled up his thighs

and tickled his groin, makin him wanna laugh, but he wouldn't cause he

didn't want folks to take no notice of a big black man laughin and holdin

his privates. So he let the chuckle stay and started walkin.

And the light liquid thing walked right with him: past the bustle of town,

the friendly shouts of merhants, past the fabrics displayed in windows

reflectin Nathan's smile, past the smell of hot bread bakin and fresh

vegetables spread on tables, and still Nathan walked.

The liquid light rose from his navel and drifted into his chest. Nathan

walked by vacant lots and leanin shacks. He hadn't seen this much green

since he left Mississippi. And trees! Everywhere he looked there was a

tree reachin for the silver sky. And he could smell salt water in the air.

Nathan and the light thing walked till he saw other brown faces with eyes

that looked like they knew where he'd been and just how long the road had

been to get here.

The thing in him rose into his throat like a thick ball of fog and his

eyes watered and he started whisperin, "O way o way, o way, o wayo," even

though he didn't know what he was sayin. The thing in the land knew Nathan

was home.