I have lost my mind in this terror of trees rocking ever so faraway
out of the breeze. I wait for the quiet stillness to pause and retch
upward to the mercy held in a golden cup I can no longer feel.
The dead are unsuitable as we stumble with them out of the eye.
We kick one, trip. We dance another and gray lips fail to echo.
No one can count them. They disappear from one iris to another
out the blown windows and into the heart: dull blue skin rots
on the margins of waste. Cats and dogs swim endlessly blind
out with the waves and in with the tide.
In the race to death to the pedestal of the cliff we stagger dance
with every corpse by art of physics; we are the blood painted glare
of cesspools adorned by the pallet of Francis Bacon.
After death, we pronounce the city lost; in silence
we are dressed-right-dressed on military charts drawn
in lines cursed from elbow to sharpened elbow.
If I had lived in New Orleans on the second day of September 2005
I would be dead: no oxygen; no breath; no mercy. My wheel chair
would have spun out to sea and the sludge would have completed
my throat until my vague eyes peeled back to my hallowed skull.