Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Hickory Street, New Orleans

Like, the last thing I said to you was let’s buy a duplex,
like, you live on your side & I’ll live on my side &
you’ll rise when you rise & I’ll rise when I rise &
I said something like, let’s divide these hurts & regrets
& you get a stack & I get a stack & you walk a block
& I walk a block & you get a poodle & I get a pug
& you stub a toe & I twist an ankle & you get
a wheelbarrow & I get chickens glazed with rain
& you interrupt & I intercept & you call
the Congressman & I call the Mayor & you blow
a trumpet & I smash a tuba or maybe seal off all sound 

sheltering the shuddering of the heart compressed

the high-pitched operas of trolley wheels breaking
at the edge of midnight where magnolias
shelter the stoplights & left-footed lovers, drunk 
on beignets & champagne-kisses & maybe struck
by the distant drift of a giant
sea turtle floating toward a green wave
in a tacky, overpriced painting
& somehow they’re safe, the couple is safe
& there’s no parade stilts that will break, no stars
that will bend, there’s just an orchid
tucked behind an ear & hours blurred together

& I said something

like

& you said—

& I said—

Remember?

Credit


Copyright © 2020 by Yona Harvey. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 7, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem


"It's a condensed version of a poem written for a Mardi Gras celebration that took place in James Simon's magnificent sculpture studio in Pittsburgh."
Yona Harvey

Author


Yona Harvey

Yona Harvey is the author of the poetry collection, Hemming the Water (Four Way Books, 2013) and a coauthor of Marvel's Black Panther and the Crew (2017) and World of Wakanda (Marvel, 2016).

Date Published: 2020-12-07

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/hickory-street-new-orleans