Stella’s hair is so wet from sweat that it doesn’t look blonde anymore, and the humidity has frizzed the tendrils out around her face. In the mirror across from the bed, we look like three sisters. The mirror has a glamour-shot effect, like all the mirrors in the house.
My favorite coat was made by my father's mother. It is gray like an overcast day, a dark, dirty-water gray, covered in rows of silver-dollar-sized circles, which remind me of cloud-covered suns. It's double-breasted, with slightly peaked lapels, and it belts at the waist. The hem brushes the backs of my knees.
The book is a collection of essays, authored by local and outside artists, geographers, cartographers, bakers, horticulturists, and one criminal defense lawyer, that describe the city of New Orleans—not only the physical, but also the invisible and the transient.
Big-Eyed Afraid comprises five numbered sections, demarcations tracking the linear progression from youth to adulthood, and the milestones in between. Yet the poems defy this neat organization, each an intimate case study of identity; they are frank interrogations of family, race, gender, mental illness, and the forces that shape us.