New Orleans – a poem

New Orleans

The constant drip of the waters

Drip by drip, drop by drop

The dripping leaves, the rivulets of water running down the colunnades and green fronds

The soil is as full as a wet sponge, not one drop wrung out

The fecund scent of moist decay hides a terrible secret (cracked foundations scoured clean by the waters)

In my dreams, George Dureau drinks a bourbon on ice, his French Quarter companions blow lazy smoke rings with their thick, wetted lips

White flowers drenched in moonlight glow ghastly pale and irridescent in empty cemeteries

Drip by drip, drop by drop

Droplets of history pool in the gutters and drip down the shutters hung askew

One hundred fine ladies languish in lavendar bathwaters while sipping sweet tea

The streetcar lumbers along St. Charles Avenue; it casts off wet sparks and disappears into the fog

Sticky amber liquid parfum (a gift from her mother) dots the delicate wrist of the debutante

Drip by drip, drop by drop

A chef weeps into his red beans and rice, his salt the same peasant stock as his Bayou ancestors

Sweat beads on the forehead of a laborer, mopped with the edge of his shirt, soaked and stuck to his brown skin

At the feet of a stone maiden a fountain springs forth, a refreshing stream in the muggy sunshine

Drip by drip, drop by drop

And the sacred, unstoppable Mississippi flows on drop by muddy drop



2 Responses

  1. Excellent imagery.

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