Visit to New Orleans

Visit to New Orleans

Grey afternoon everything carved away
gaunt woman in once-tight jeans
zig-zags patterns, boulevard desolate.
Archeological trash pile
not for garbage

Everything carved away.

Dogs no longer here.
Old kitten dangling thread, teasing between splinters
from a screen door stretching
open and shut
by the arm of the wind.

Woman again, more gaunt than five minutes ago,
watching me pretend not to watch her,
circles round the globe
and back,
reverse order.
Nothing to do but watch me and I in the same boat
of nothingness
out of which I’ve come to this town to imbibe
and watch her.

Sublime inversion.
Poseidon sweet, head on pillow of sand,
awake with restful qualities.
No lover of Katrina.
No maliciousness above or below the Gulf.
Another sublime inversion.

Caretaker wins award, blue ribbon, but not for his pristine
Bayou tombstones.
No, in this inversion he knows better.
Knows how, is willing, cares for the chest that heaves,
the tight ruddy brown face with eyes
searching for her own leather couch from Levitz.
A parakeet on a sill.
Two-sip-left can of beer.
Envelope of dates and promised dollars.
Proofs of where and when such and such.
Invitation to a party from someone who may want to know
she’s okay.
Or in truth not okay.
Today when everything appears and is
carved away.

Lynne Sachs
December, 2006