Experts say you shouldn’t be out here with me 

sitting by the river. But I get you. You want to feel 

 

free—as far from the panopticon as possible. 

I don’t blame you. Besides, 

 

there are so many other people in the park with us—

frisbees, dogs, barbeques—and look at that 

 

cute couple kissing. You know, 

I never realized the Mississippi was this big. 

 

It looks like it could rise to meet us

at any minute. And look over there—past the steamboat 

 

crying its maniacal calliope, past the Riverwalk

(the big empty mall once

 

plowed through by the Bright Field barge)    

look at that huge cruise ship—looming. 

 

Look at the water surrounding it, brown

and befouled like the Gulf of Mexico. 

 

Look at its glass windows glinting with people

trapped inside, like a body pimpled with smallpox. 

 

Look at its antenna—like the cancerous phalluses

of the oil refineries standing at attention.

 

A floating infirmary devoid of doctors, nurses, PPE.

Look at it—just sitting there—insidious, still as the eyes 

 

of Betsy, Katrina, quiet as the Hard Rock

Hotel—sneaky as me. 

 


		
			

One Response

  1. A wonderful juxtaposition of the sublime normalcy with the horror contained in once benign sights. And I love how you do not shy away from language. I will forever treasure the word panopticon.

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