I was thinking about New Orleans today.
My New Orleans, whose streets and alleys
are as personal and intimate to me as
a pussy stroke.
Far away from the blaze of Bourbon
where the neon children live their
lives that burn bright, flicker, then die.
Away from the tourist traps where
Black men are forced to shuck and jive
for those who are simultaneously lily
White and scaly with sunburn, and who
are all too pleased to press a dollar
in a palm that’s butter mellow or
burnt sienna to ease their consciences
of what their granddaddies did and what
their grandbabies will continue to do.
Far, far outside the districts where the
night air is weighted differently; the sound
of the Zydeco creeping on the wind like a
ghost in the alleyways. Where the slow
drawl of, ‘how you doin’ ‘chere?’ is as
satisfying as the crunch of new gravel
under the heel of my boot; good for the
ear and the Soul. Where the familiar
smell of smoke, stale beer and sawdust
floors feel like home, and I can dance,