It felt as though the humidity itself
carried a hint of liquor as we walked
out into the night, wanting only to escape
our lives for a little.
Deep down in Vieux Carre’
twisted brass clashed with a piano
running half step from the crowded clubs
on Frenchman Street.
We filled our lungs with the city
and found her to be like certain kinds
of dangerous doses--
It was our second night
and the more we drank
the more I began to see glimpses
of the specters spoken of by locals.
They linger in my peripheral,
watching me with their sunken eyes.
You could faintly hear them moan,
only in defeated tones
and their collective scowl danced
in the heavy air of summer
as though it were a part from
all that jazz.
In the stranger hours of morn
I was approached by a ghost
a few blocks off Bourbon.
He offered up nothing but his dirty palms
in hopes of some false salvation.
I wrestled a dollar from my pocket
and passed it on to him,
only to watch him fruitlessly grasp at it
before it slide through his ghostly hands
to the floor below.
He looked down at the dollar
all helpless-like and he said
"It’s been slipping through my fingers
like dat for years now
and ain't nobody help’n me."
I walked from him, realizing then
why I had needed this trip,
I needed to remember all the love in my life
because the only difference between
me and the ghosts of N'awlins
was someone cared about me,
and I cared enough about them
not to destroy myself.
The Charm Gates
or escaped, and so
We roared up Rue Bourbon and back again,
shaking the gallery shanks with our dancing
feet and fingertips, slipped a thrilling romance
of sobriquets and keeping apart of lips.
Thirsty, she perched me atop her fidelity,
gasping when pinched by the flesh of her neck
in my teeth, our steamy heat-seeking indecencies
churning a chemistry cagey, perverted, and sweet.
I wrung the wrought iron of Isabella's gate
devotedly hanged as enchantment laced
fabled accouterments, pickets and posts.
I dismissed it as ferrous fetish, historically significant kitsch.
And that night she unsettled my incredulous bent,
a disposition I've had hardened and always.
In the doorway, over our sparks, she disarmed me:
"I don't know what it is, you're just so charming."
The ceasefire line dividing us into the confines
of our separate lives defies me to find her,
reminding me she's studded with diamonds,
a mother three times since twenty-nine.
She missed that a revision of spirit occurred,
staked in the mist of coincidence and kismet,
conferred of this lascivious tryst and kissing
against those storied bricks, before she escaped.
And so she'll never know how much I think of her
or what my having met her truly weighs.
I called to you
softly when I
was young; my
voice bounced off
the bricks of a
side streets and
stirred piles of
leaves, then snagged
in the branches till
the wind tore it free
to collapse at your
window like a
that had been
singing for decades
and finally, you heard.