At the balls the old men and women dance
in tuxedos and gowns next to the boys
and girls guiding each other off the floor,
where they will gaze at age with masks over
their eyes. This is New York, not New Orleans.
The storm’s fury is late a hundred years.
Dee Ann is a ghost, her wraith full of wrath.
She still dreams those years of Asian war,
hell her people took to the people there.
Hell’s here. She knows that then we hid the truth,
as we do now. She takes pictures with eyes
that are still her own but have learned to fly.
One little girl stands in the cloudy dark
emulating Dee Ann’s concentration–
is this girl the future of her nation?–
and finding focus hears the shutter click.
How can she know pictures she sees have names
chiseled into their invisible frames?
(10 December 2012)
copyright 2012 by Floyce Alexander