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Quarter French Kiss {New Orleans, Louisiana}

The world ends where the road ends,
stark darkness stretches over the world that does exist
the swamps of Louisiana aren't real.
I've lived in New Orleans all my life and have never seen them.

Reflectors stretch out into infinity as I drive over this bridge that goes just as far
until I reach my final destination, a point in the Quarter called home,
home to:
half-drunk housewives who use alcohol as an excuse for infidelity,
those vampires whose sucking doesn't involve blood
bead cartels and minor prostitution
    which is the only way I can have sex anyway
walls topped with broken glass
    which is the only thing that clearly states its intentions

Down Bourbon, down Market Street, I visit an A&P
purchase Pepsi and a Coke.
Walking down Bourbon Street, a string of purple beads smack my face
fall over the Coke, now mixed with an equal part rum
Little girls:
dance on the street in front of a barred window,
    which tells the truth of this town,
    which obscures the small screen,
dream of California

Flash boobs
flash bulbs go pop because they must,
and people take home Kodak moments of excitement.

I give a five to a silver human statue and I can't afford to give the tap-kid anything

And still I walk, and find the house with the corn-patterned fence,
another beggar asks me,
tells me of his sad life;
I give him my Pepsi and finish the Coke,
I look in the café across the way where the rich people eat
encased in glass, bars, like a zoo,
I cross the street, beggar in tow,
I knock on the window,
hold out my hand,
and I don't know if I'm feeding the animals
or begging for change.

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