It was a sturdy ship that I
went down in, and it felt like
rebirth when I drowned and
emerged from the tumbling
surf to wring out my hair and
tie a knot in my skirt. (I learned
to breathe by nearly drowning.)

The absence of you is everywhere I go,
Especially in the cold, blue night outside,
My breath leaves it's ghost on the window,
Just like you left me here.

On thirsty days
I curse the sun,
kick up dirt and
beat my drums
and call the rain

(it always comes.)

All the poems I wrote for you
were fond hyperbole; your hands
were not the saving kind and you
tasted nothing like the sea.

This is now.

We still think
we're ripe figs, saplings
green and sweet 'neath supple
bark, hearts still sticky,
fruit still tart.

It felt as though the humidity itself
carried a hint of liquor as we walked
out into the night, wanting only to escape
our lives for a little.
Deep down in Vieux Carre’
twisted brass clashed with a piano
running half step from the crowded clubs
on Frenchman Street.
We filled our lungs with the city
and found her to be like certain kinds
of dangerous doses--

It was our second night
and the more we drank
the more I began to see glimpses
of the specters spoken of by locals.
They linger in my peripheral,
watching me with their sunken eyes.
You could faintly hear them moan,
only in defeated tones
and their collective scowl danced
in the heavy air of summer
as though it were a part from
all that jazz.

In the stranger hours of morn
I was approached by a ghost
a few blocks off Bourbon.
He offered up nothing but his dirty palms
in hopes of some false salvation.
I wrestled a dollar from my pocket
and passed it on to him,
only to watch him fruitlessly grasp at it
before it slide through his ghostly hands
to the floor below.
He looked down at the dollar
all helpless-like and he said
"It’s been slipping through my fingers
like dat for years now
and ain't nobody help’n me."

I walked from him, realizing then
why I had needed this trip,
I needed to remember all the love in my life
because the only difference between
me and the ghosts of N'awlins
was someone cared about me,
and I cared enough about them
not to destroy myself.

The Charm Gates
   or escaped, and so

We roared up Rue Bourbon and back again,
shaking the gallery shanks with our dancing
feet and fingertips, slipped a thrilling romance
of sobriquets and keeping apart of lips.

Thirsty, she perched me atop her fidelity,
gasping when pinched by the flesh of her neck
in my teeth, our steamy heat-seeking indecencies
churning a chemistry cagey, perverted, and sweet.

I wrung the wrought iron of Isabella's gate
devotedly hanged as enchantment laced
fabled accouterments, pickets and posts.
I dismissed it as ferrous fetish, historically significant kitsch.

And that night she unsettled my incredulous bent,
a disposition I've had hardened and always.
In the doorway, over our sparks, she disarmed me:
"I don't know what it is, you're just so charming."

The ceasefire line dividing us into the confines
of our separate lives defies me to find her,
reminding me she's studded with diamonds,
a mother three times since twenty-nine.

She missed that a revision of spirit occurred,
staked in the mist of coincidence and kismet,
conferred of this lascivious tryst and kissing
against those storied bricks, before she escaped.

And so she'll never know how much I think of her
or what my having met her truly weighs.

I'm always seeking critique.

Fun fact: this one is my favorite.

pissed her
rants and
caves into
must not
twine around her
check how quite
tight it gets
that she's screaming,
for him to let her go.

I called to you 
softly when I 
was young; my
voice bounced off 
the bricks of a 
suburban slum,
sauntered down 
side streets and 
stirred piles of 
leaves, then snagged 
in the branches till 
the wind tore it free 

to collapse at your 
window like a 
weary songbird
that had been 
singing for decades 
and finally, you heard.

You asked about it later,
in the best way you knew how
as I was tracing dreamy cursive
on your neck; I sighed across
your skin just like a cool front
blowing in and said –  It
doesn't even matter. I forget.

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