Liquid Mirror

A electronic piece using as a departure point a poem I commissioned from Hannah Baker (now Hannah Saltmarsh). I provided the title, acting as a springboard for her creative juices. At the time she was living in New Orleans, around the time of Hurricane Katrina and the peome focuses on the effects of that aftermath.

Liquid Mirror

Money’s wet in your pockets from heat.
Whatever you paid for in damp bills,
more hard won than bought.
Everyone’s feet like contractor’s hands, slit, hard.
We came in hurricane season.
The evacuation routes waits in one of my purses,
not to take but to think through, imagine
the survivors of the storm making it into
helicopters, to be told you can’t take pets,
to leave them in cages, dead when they came back.

In the Red Dress run, men in drag, red fishnet
dress over red thongs, or a tutu, pass through
the quarter in light, warm rain.
When I saw this blue shirt, Democrat,
I thought of you and your brother
thinking of that. How the move before our moves
was with him, cross-country into sunshine all year.
In three cities we were, you’d wake first on weekends
reading, where I’d sleep across your chest,
your arm shifted for seconds to turn the page.

Reading to each other Ginsberg’s hermit coming upon
an owl-filled branch, Vonnegut’s hanging onto
Armistice Day but shedding Veteran’s, Heaney’s thimble
nipple cap, the number of words kids get from their
parents each day like food, it was like living in a shotgun house
without doors, the bullet straight through, rooms aired like windows.
Without doors, with faces to reflect like a mother’s,
a body of water, a mirror, that you’re okay, you’re whole,
with double balconies, ten windows,
we sleep like the man out cold on the roof of his car.

    Hannah Baker 2010