Laura Mullen
April 2010

Little Landscape
(spring 2006 lower 9th ward)

got out where the road went
under wind-rippled clouds
by the field where the storm-tossed
barge crushed the houses
beautiful hyphenated word “storm-tossed”
clean bright arc down the rusted hull cutting
it into what could be shifted
in pieces the conveyance
here a tent of azure plastic         
there someone’s roof on the ground
someone’s boat on a roof and mashed
car piled on car crushed torn split ruined
structures past tense damaged stilled as
adjectives the highly toxic air articulate
syllables shapes a mind might construct
of and for an encounter bits of blue sky
shiver between clouds caught in
up-thrust edges of shattered asphalt
telephone poles tilt splintered off midair
bearing posters If you saw the levee break
in the weedy rubble a heap
of blue and white disposable coveralls
beside the neat line of black rubber boots
soaking in bleach in silence