You gave me this city thirty years ago
with iron-laced galleries above arcane streets,
music and food drifting
from French Quarter doorways.
Every year since then,
we have walked beneath antique oaks
that witnessed duels fought over beauty
such as yours.
I have seen the sky on fire above the Mississippi
and often walked with your hand in mine
the white light of a full moon
pursuing us along black water waves as we stroll.
we walk from the alley of pirates
to stand on these stones
before this cathedral
beneath two contrails above a three-quarter moon
slipping through ragged clouds
The past swallows all
as we watch painters, poets and jugglers
mingle with angels
and the ghosts of both.
It is in this moment
with the steady clop of horse hooves
before an unseen carriage
at last, I understand this portal,
why one hand holds yours like gold
and the other becomes familiar with a pistol grip.