For A Nice Canadienne on her 50th Birthday in New Orleans

Here, in the humid twirling decadence
and hurling thundershower steel pellets
of that fabled, riddled South,

as anniversaries bark their garbled yell
and invite the champagne bubble devils
to speak their humble spells–

moving enchanted feet to rhythms,
to the felt-tipped cue and follow through
of the city’s barbarian insistence.

Oh New Orleans, where Rebel yells
were uttered far before Fort Sumter fell
and the rebellion we breed
is the forked lightning satan tongue of human greed
and statue’s needs

as museums build themselves from neighborhoods
and dwelt ghost-fitted plumbing copper shelves
are all that’s needed, all we heed
in the red raw dawn and stars-bars-and-swell.

So the ages tell us,
and so we must them follow

and give thanks for each bowl we pass
and drinking, life we swallow.

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