Postcard Showing the Lynching of Allen Brooks March 10, 1910, Dallas, Texas

(photographer unknown)

This is not a postcard from hell. No, this
postcard has proper postage. This postcard
guaranteed by U.S. Mail, guaranteed
safe passage, safe arrival, content safe.
Scrawled message, “…token of a great day,” scrawled
beside one cent Ben Franklin stamp behind

picture of teaming downtown Dallas, picture
taken one Thursday, lunch hour, picture taken:
old Negro hanging beneath Elk’s Arch, old
dead Allen Brooks stripped naked, beaten dead
before he hung. Clothes snatched as trophies before
photographer captured his photograph.

Under Church Roof

Churches in blood is old news. Our black churches
exist for solace from spilled blood, exist
to provide Christ and sanctuary; to
structure equality of color, structure
embrace of all who Bible study, embrace
Rough young man lost in hunt under church roof.

One witness left to tell the worst of one.
No screaming audio; no, “Please, no!” No
last calls to Jesus as nine bled their last.
Slaughter-stained battle flag flies after slaughter.
Forty-five, birthday gun a forty-five,
targeting beloved icon, hate’s best target.