Two New Orleans Sonnets | by Tim Duffy

Last Day on Frenchmen

Bodies are close here. They bond in sparse clothes
plastic beads, chests which heave with desire and fear
as they shout “only connect” to the brass band.
The body closest to these miracles
learns to move with others, the bold hand,
the hairy knee caressed in darkness, close to shorts
that spill money onto oyster shell floors.

The smell alone of it all could be enough.
One forgets in free wandering, the reverie of hot weather.
Somewhere a tarot deck on a TV tray reads a fortune:
“You seek out heat instead of planting seeds in snow”
“You got me,” I say and shuffle along.
My pockets and eyes now too empty to stay.



Flies in Water

Blue, interrupted. The patterns are the distance
between worlds, the living side
marks the water
with a slow dance like blown glass.
The other side: the deeds whose bodies
open invisible threads—the dance between acts,
hollow in the water. Dense, heavy,
like the detritus of prayer

But beneath the air,
the winged seeds mix potent
with hollow bodies, plotting resurrection
or a memorial, these arms allow no building.
They fly because they remember how,
the one way: wingless, virtual, defiant.



Tim Duffy is a poet, teacher, and scholar in Connecticut with poems in or forthcoming in Longleaf Review, Cotton Xenomorph, Hawai’i Review, Dream Pop Press, Open Letters Monthly, The Cortland Review, and elsewhere.

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