b.z. niditch | day's illumination

Sonny Rollins & Max Roach 1966


Over the eyes of intimacy
from double lives
in thresholds
of some parts of the city
open ports push a lady
like Gertrude’s bounce
on high heels
over a stepped up underground
which resembles
her lipstick mirror
dark, despoiled, concave
from night’s ventures
surprising first light
as bocce players
with navy caps
wish to score
and a marathon runner
along Basin Street
by the esplanade
speaks low whispers
of the name
“Sonny Rollins”
who is playing
tenor sax tonight
as crawling feral cats
second the cries
from taxis and ambulances
along Civil War graves
and alto woodwinds hum
from a park bench
an unceasing tune
from childhood
the earth harbors you
along the warm waterfront
tourists are searching
for Cajan cooking
and a hungry poet
with no respite
on his more than living arms
and interwoven lips
goes to hear Rollins,
Cliff Brown and Max Roach
until tomorrow’s quick waves
will release his day’s
low voiced illumination
on this fabled New Orleans.

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