You Just Moved. Do You Realize That? by Rebecca Allen

Today I don't love New Orleans because it feels like a wild beast.  I say fuck you, it says it right back, then we hang out.  We talk about the egrets and the slippery turtles at City Park, and we mention the hissing swan.  We bring up old carousels, drinks, the horrible roads, the "me-first" jackass drivers.  

I'll be just fine.  

Yesterday I learned that my grandmother left New Orleans for rural Kenner in the 1950s.  A Black man had stolen her purse first, then after a policeman intercepted it, a White woman claimed it was hers.  Nothing's changed, Mammaw.  I just try not to care about my purse.  

There was a huge full moon yesterday and the day before.  I watched it glowing last night through the Spanish moss, like creepy witches hair for a frame.  I'm not scared.  I'm a swamp monster staring right back at you.  We do a distant slow dance, me and the moon, together stirring the soupy air.  I hear kids laughing and screaming because I'm at the Carousel Amusement Park just before closing.  I see 1950s Storyland fairytale statues.  Not creepy at all.  

I realize there is something I want, but I can't figure out what it is.  I'm a blind person grasping at a face to make out it's form.  Sometimes desire can't land on a form, but it fills my insides like smoke.  

It's fall in Nashville.  Photographs of colored leaves are flooding my Facebook page.  But here in New Orleans, it's still a steaming summer.  Perhaps that's why my desire can't land.  It hovers now above me, watching me below as I sit staring at the giant oak trees, like big guardians, arms twisting and reaching wide, just in case, for hundreds of years.  

I get to change colors.