Breathing New Orleans

A slow breath drags decay,
jets of chartreuse sprouting from decay,
and moist fragrance

Here cats weave
across broken bricks.
Webs lift wrought-iron
into doilies of light.

When sun casts
its hand across a palm frond,
breeze lifts and separates
it into fingers,
one hundred shades

Green is breathing
and fluorescent tufts betraying
each crag and broken
shingle to large glossy arms –
trees canopied by chirps
and steamy squawking.
The litter of birds
gorges sky

And of course
the cat, silently fur
then claws, unfurls its knots
across a bird.

On this block,
afternoon untangles its roots
in scent – azalea swirled and splattered
with hot pink.

Near the corner of Fourth and Coliseum,
approaching footsteps trip
on the curb.