Frank Embree Standing on Buggy Facing Camera Fayette, Missouri, July 22, 1899 (Photographer Unknown)

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He’s a lynch knot waiting to tighten. He’s standing on buggy’s bed, backbone-tall, standing. Hands, genitals last guards, cuffed in front. Hands, wrists swollen, handcuffs biting captured wrists. Hats: bowlers, straw, soft brim; white men wear hats. Hatless black Frank, no listed crime, just hated.

Torso too strong. Camera sees fear of torso. Elegance, brutally bound elegance, absence of smiles, no smiling, just smiles’ absence, flow of fresh welts slants down chest as they flow. Band, hat’s band, white face half in frame with hat band. Hand, low; face, shaded, holding the whip hand. Thighs show whip’s map, whip’s slashing claim on thighs. Eyes, mouth near snarl, Frank Embree’s unbowed eyes.