After 11 years away, I moved back into the apartment in New Orleans I was living in before Hurricane Katrina washed me out of it. It didn’t look the same; what was familiar was mostly what I brought back to it — and not just objects. I found that I’d brought my love of the city back with me, too, and it wanted to sing.


The things that raku firing does are trendy now.
Distressed, they call it, the cracked glaze,
The blackened bits, the spattered, indifferent blue.
I left here eleven years ago, just ahead of the storm
Of a lifetime. That bitch broke everything, let the rot
And black mold in, so this place was stripped to the studs
And reclad in cream and white, cool marble countertops
And matte finishes. Back again after the divorce and
Hesitant to reach for a metaphor for my own distress
That’s surely too pat anyway, I set the raku bowl in the
Center of the kitchen table and crumple newspaper from
Another place in the hope of never needing those words again.


(photo: original work)


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