27 August 2015


its been ten fucking years since katrina. shit hasnt changed. ten years since i wrote this.


The bottles had been underwater long enough to soak the labels off;
   they were dark and anonymous, decorating this dragged-in mattress
biding their time in dead city silence.
The last light slants over former computers while hopeful words—modem! keyboard! url!—peel off the blistered wall.
Rescued saints regard us from their pile in the corner
shading the walls’ scrawled notes from refugees
unsteady words wild with desperation, unread, unheeded,
like the rest of their pleas.

A feral diver meets my eyes. Twists the cap off. Not a tight seal.
He brings it to his lips—tastes a little funny,
this glass jewel plucked from the ruins.
   He looks at me again, eyes like a tomcat in the darkness, kills the flashlight
so it’s just a smooth heaviness cradled in my hands.

I raise and drink; first it’s whiskey with a hint of rain
near factories.
Then comes Katrina, Kali the destroyer
a dark hot machine bringing fragile order to its knees,
roaring through houses and filling lungs to the brim.
My tongue slicks with tearwater,
bloodwater: the flood
of the people's funeral.

When the bottle is empty, sad-eyed ghosts float in
and we rage in the ruins    with me laying down my body
and them breathing in their bones
from my breath.

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