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Hurricane Katrina

Katrina: After the Flood. By Gary Rivlin. Simon & Schuster, 2015. 480p. HB, $27.

The Storm That Won’t Quit

The storm landed on August 29, 2005, right as winds mercifully dropped to 125 miles an hour, down from 175. But the real horror came afterward, in the wake of fifty-three levee breaches that caused New Orleans to fill up like a bathtub. When the air [...]

Kin

He has the surname that suggests
a contested kinship: Jefferson—

Congregation

Somewhere in the post-Katrina wreckage and disarray of my grandmother’s house, there is a photograph of my brother Joe and me, our arms around each other’s shoulders. We are at a long-gone nightclub in Gulfport, the Terrace Lounge, standing before the photographer’s airbrushed scrim—a border of dice and playing cards around us. Just above our heads the words HIGH ROLLERS, in cursive, embellished—if I am remembering this right—with tiny starbursts. 

Believer

The house is in need of repair, but is—
for now, she says—still hers. After the storm,
she laid hands on what she could reclaim:

Watcher

At first, there was nothing to do but watch.
For days, before the trucks arrived, before the work
of clean-up, my brother sat on the stoop and watched.