My last sight of N’awlins, early New Year’s Day,
pretty girl standing outside Big Daddy’s Bar
shivering, talking to her friends; lightweight pink coat,
sparkly heels, last night’s tiara, sipping a fresh daiquiri.
On the hurricane evacuation route, the levee stretches
for miles and miles. Rhythm and Blues Bayou.
Cotton gins, rice silos, Dixie Dandy signs “we buy pecans”.
Alligator Duck Club, towns called Tallulah and Tchulah.
Christian Pest Services. Ciroc and Grey Goose
in ramshackle gas stations with dirty bathrooms.
White girl behind the counter says “have a blest day”;
black folks don’t meet our eyes when we say hello.
Lake Providence; pelicans bobbing, coots skimming
across the water, wood ducks and cypress knees.
No one open in any town except Dollar General
and the Departments of Detention and Correction.
Driving north, the temp keeps dropping;
we are heading home, but not towards warmth.