The chicory is stale in our mouths.
The water in the street was six feet high.
Her elderly mother wasn’t able to swim.
The color of these walls is called red bean red.
She wore gold hoops back in the day.
This placed used to be called True Brew.
The place she fled to was Arizona.
The couch she slept on was near a nest of scorpions.
Her friends are all different shades.
People in West Coast lines are likely not to say hello.
A hurricane is better than an earthquake any day.
Her mother is still alive.
New Orleans neighborhoods are block to block.
Her brilliant daughter is in hospital.
They are happy to see people gone.
They are unnamable or not worth naming
All the projects are closed up now.
These new neighborhoods are made-up places.
The tourists’ pants are down until they leave.
Jambalaya is a good reason to live.
The number of cigarette lighters in her car is two.
The street we want is called Mystery Street.
The theory is they blew holes in the levee.
Algiers is the Ninth Ward with trees.
The time she was away was eighteen months.
The reason she came back was the air.
The reason she came back was How could she not?
The river is where you go when you’re down.
The prophets are always on the corners.
Half the people at Mardi Gras are still from here.
When you’re Uptown, you’re Uptown.
New Orleans is not a Cajun city.
Grand Coteau is a nice day trip.
The streetcar is a dollar twenty-five.
The mayor is the former governor’s cousin.
Elysian Fields was a line you didn’t cross.
All these young men are traumatized.
The girl who was shot was one year old.
The programs are all cut to the bone.
Words are all we have to heal.
The urge to cry is from seeing the pain in you.
This is still the Deep South.
Her accent is what she was when she left.
This is an apartment she couldn’t afford.
Here is something else to remember her by.
This is a book written in other cities.
Basin Street is the street in the song.
Everything is the blues if you let it be.
Bougainvillea is what you need on a balcony.
Money is what’s missing.
Greed is why these children are hungry.
The pies you heard of are Hubig’s pies.
The loudest sound at lunch time is the heat bugs.
The middle of the day is no time for trouble.
This city is no place to be without an excuse.
The best one I have is being used by someone else.
Everyone is living with what’s gone.
The best people here are dead.
That’s the reason she’s talking to me.
George Guida is the author of five books, including The Pope Stories and Other Tales of Troubled Times and two collections of poems*New York and Other Lovers and Low Italian. His work has appeared in Alimentum, Barrow Street, Controlled Burn, Harpur Palate, Inkwell, Italian Americana, J Journal, Literature and Gender, and Perihelion, among other journals and anthologies. He teaches English and creative writing at New York City College of Technology, and serves as Poetry Editor of 2 Bridges Review.