First Month in New Orleans


You spent August crouching
beneath hundred-year-old porches
feeling for fissures made worse by the storm
fortifying foundations in gloved hands and goggles,

while on the bayou I brushed away centuries
for skeptics in sneakers and blue collared shirts
and silently begged Beowulf to seal the crack
sprawling wildly before me.

From your sofa we could hear the music in the
street gave way to the rain, and the rain to silence
that amassed like beads in the oak trees, swaying in their places
since early spring
when they landed in the branches.

Youth in those nights felt as round and as full
as the moon; too vast to consume.
I’d have sat there with you for the rest of my life,
nibbling into a gibbous
that waxed without warning
and waned without want.

I thought if I could swallow the whole moment,
it wouldn’t matter if this tension ruptured the
walls and sent us cascading onto the street
and away from this corner in time —

I’d still feel you folded into my core,
a seed taking root around my ribs
a place of origin where certain rains
still coax us into bloom.