Tuesday, September 6, 2005

New Orleans

New Orleans


Waters are black with
what this city used to be
before the levee broke
in those places,

And yet no sins are washed away
and every streetlight goes dark
as the lights go out in
the eyes of every face
staring up from the bottom of the pool,

Three coins in a fountain
and God blesses no one
who hasn’t a car with the gas
to drive to the high ground,

There’s nothing spicy
on the Latin menu,
this is not Holy Water
coming up the avenues
and rising to the pitch
of the wooden roofs,

It’s a jazz funeral,
it’s the worse
of all opening sentences,

It’s a little man
in a pilot’s costume
staring at the screen
wondering why every station
have the same pictures
of bodies floating
where a city used to be,
angry that his lips
are chapped from kissing
those photos of John Wayne.