Guest Post From Shadow: A Letter To New Orleans

Aug 30, 2006 by

My Love,
I keep my promises.
While away from you my feet have touched many shores. My lips kissed many cheeks. I have seen the rolling green hills of England. The misty mountains of Scotland. The ancient and holy Rome. The snowy streets of Prague. Beauty that took my breath away. And while I tasted their treasures and enjoyed their bodies, my palate yearned for what you had to offer.

Incredibly, I saw the love for you in each of these places. From people native to them, other wanderers like me and most of all in my own heart.
In my time gone I learned so much about everyone, myself included. Once returned I was struck by the ugliness, the cowardice and the determination of people I thought I knew. As I walked your forever changed streets, I felt such calm, such sadness, such desperation. Such a rage that threatened to destroy me. It still does. It threatens us all. And there is no escaping it. I watch as people, strangers and loved ones alike, fall apart. They open and rot, much like you, recognizable, but only barely.
Your people ache with you. And we are scattered to the edges of these Unites States. No where is safe anymore, Lover. We speak about it in shouts, in rants, on our porches, on stages, at our tables, over cocktails, at sticky tables with powdered sugar on our shoes. Most poignantly, in bed, in the dark with naked legs twining and fingers stroking hair. Letting the fears flow and saying what we cannot when the lights are on.
I do not know what the future holds for me and mine. But I am home. And I have again touched your dips and crevices, cracks and curves, the harsh bumps and delicate details. I have listened to your rhythm, your age and wisdom. My heart has beat in time with your cruelty. Your sensitivity. Your aloofness. Your flow and cadence. I bleed the blood of you. I mourn your soul. I have cried when I once again experienced the way you smell in the rain. When I’ve heard your harsh laughter. I am still yours.
I have covered your face with my kisses and filled your gaps with my tears.

Today I will go walk the jazz funeral for you.
I am still waiting for the end of my broken heart, my sacred New Orleans.

Shadow Angelina Starkey
New Orleans Photographer

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