French Quarter Nights

All walks of life stir here.
The crowd is thick, and
stumbling drunk.
The poor, the rich, and the in between.
On infamous streets of
uneven cobblestone
in The Big Easy.

My tribe and I β€”
my family.
Not stuck in the traffic,
but part of it.

Masks, exposed flesh, and
painted bodies.

Skeletons,
Pirates,
Devils...

even an Angel or two.

So many open doors.
Restaurants and dank bars,
Voodoo trinkets,
novelty shops,
coffee and beignets.

The smells are ever wafting.
Constantly changing with the wind.
All drifting in one after another...

Cajun food,
sour beer,
incense,
piss,
tobacco,
a hint of vomit,
Indica,
Patchouli and Sandalwood,
more good food.

On and on,
it never ends.

Sounds fill the air with magic.
Music from a second line brass band.
Skeletons playing flutes and drums.
Jazz,
Blues,
even the voices in the crowd
all a part of the magical melody.

I can also feel the old spirits.
Stirring in the streets, and
pressing all around us.

I love this city!

A stop at Johnny White's,
the pirate bar "Hole In The Wall."
Harley Davidsons lined out front.

A shot and a beer,
a toast to the departed.

Standing at the door stoop,
facing the street.
It's like watching some
epic Divine Comedy. 
All sorts of sin going on.

This girl,
with a sugar skull face,
trips over.
She whispers slurred speech
into my ear.
I can smell her night out.
On her skin, and
in her breath.

So drunk I cannot decipher her words.

She buys us a shot,
lights my cigarette,
then slinks off into the crowd.

We laugh at her newborn-like legs.

A few more drinks and it's
on to the next bar.

Then the next,
and yet another.

Things get start to get hazy.
Tribe members get lost.
The elder starts to fall,
drunk and laughing at himself.

Time for refuge now.
We retreat to our beds to gather our strength;
for repeating the ritual on the morrow.

Β©James Dennis Casey IV

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