Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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fourteenth attempt at going home

in the cities of the dead, trumpets flare.
this is a second line for alluvial plains, but
the Lyft driver believes the climate’s been getting
one degree warmer every year basically forever.
I want to know who put this trash in my city.
closure is being certain there is nothing to resurrect,
which is maybe an unholy realization to have
on Easter, but it would be worse if I lied to you.
the night before, I took myself out, I ordered the
fanciest cocktail, I mopped up the roux in my bowl
with French bread. drunk tourists are my least
favorite kind. I remember my nights
full of rum on an island, the feeling
of land slipping away. the Superdome
should be a national monument because the
air jammed in my throat the first moment I
saw it. if you picture people trying to sleep all
lined up like that, it makes you think of something
else. I remember my mother telling me how
graveyards are constructed here, every
body in an aboveground box, so water won’t
loosen the bones and worry them out of the loam.
I’ve seen it more than once now, plus a lone
motorcycle weaving around the tombs.
how does it feel to be a ruinous topography.
if you don’t believe me when I tell you where
I’m from I’ll give you one star. no, I’ll give you
an unlit sky, no illuminated guide. I can’t stop
writing about a place that no longer exists,
whose light I still use for navigation. after every crescent
city parade there’s a flock of crêpe paper seagulls
trying to escape gravity, and I can imagine worse
miracles to tell my future selves.

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