Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2022  Vol.21  No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Sixteen Years to the Day Another Hurricane Reverses

the Mississippi’s coursemy father waits in our house

beside the riverand I dream my mother drowning
water closing over her head in my dreams she is always

dying in the too warm Gulf then pricked alive again
fairy-tale spindle my friends and I text each other

to describe dreams in which our mothers
ask us why they’re dead New Orleans is the place

around which I uselessly orbit after Katrina typing
my mother’s name Missing Person Jacki Cooley

into search engines sixteen years ago my daughters asked
what is a hurricane’s eye what can it see

then my mother was alive refusing to leave the city
now I text my father how high is the water are there tornadoes

phone and electric outI wish for a slick of river
to spare our house while a new dream about my mother

wrongly comforts she thrashes to the Gulf’s sand floor
where she can’t burn or come apart  

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