Poetry: Days of New Orleans by Gary Sokolow

Photo by Neil Golub.

I know now I can come back and love the leaves like
I once did, their rough underbellies and autumn bleeding,
and I know now how it will balance, the years of fear and
shame, the years of peace to come, how this time I won’t cry
passing Mei Mei’s Chinese Takeout, the middle-aged man
still alone in the window, his fork tines deep into his sesame
chicken and fried rice, and how this time I will rise from the
pavement, not let the traffic rush over me when she lashes
out at the egg roll and the broccoli, sends me jumping from
a car, how good my feet will feel standing again on Broadway,
and I wonder now how I made it those thousand fluorescent
nights, through tears I thought had run dry, my expiration
into air, and how the vibration of light in New Orleans
would save me, a giant orange abstract in the art museum,
it was part salvation, part hangover, the others back sleeping,
the jittery hotel clerk who warned me off the streets, where
I’d find comfort riding buses, in this city with the dead above
ground, and the living that seemingly was never going to stop.

Gary Sokolow has a long-ago MFA from Brooklyn College and currently work in finance. My work has appeared in 2Bridges Review, Eye Flash Journal, Posit, Salamander, The Shot Glass Journal, Nixes Mate Review, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and Third Wednesday.

One response to “Poetry: Days of New Orleans by Gary Sokolow

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s