Poetry By Matthew Nolan

Apr 18, 2006 by

Slowest Death

When the black man with frosty white hair limps across
the street to his concrete bed of stairs,
God cries in the silk scarf that drapes so loosely
about the white lady of Southern money and dry cleaning,
pressing herself crisp,
scenting herself of wine and orchards

The black man gags for breath
as she drags antique furniture onto Royal Street
accenting her deadly perfume and diamond choker,
asphyxiating him from across the street
as he sleeps on her shops

He will wander to the bus.
She will shower before maid service.
White will drive down the streets.
Black will be to the sides.

The bright white eyes that dance in the
darkness are of the old, frail, black man,
cold black skin with deep wrinkles, haggard ball cap,
adjusting his tie in his casket,
dancing around it like Jazz,
clapping his hands,
attracting all the cats,
teaching God about survival

To view more excerpts or to order Matthew Nolan’s book of poetry, prose, and journals Crumpled Paper Dolls: A New Orleans Poet please visit your local New Orleans bookstore or visit

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