Two months after Mardi Gras
in perfect spring weather.
At the blues club on Frenchman’s
Street, the two young lesbians put
on a show. The one with the shaved
head danced with the world and in
no relation to the music. Her companion
with the bad red die job and the but-
crack exposing boy pants kept
trying to join her, but only got in the way.
That did not keep the wistful smile
from her face, and they did get the
attention they were craving.
On St Charles Avenue
Mardi Gras beads hang from the
trees and decorate the iron fences.
Symbols of debauchery to every
non-local, strewn with abandon,
colors washed out by exposure to
weather like the bricks of the churches
found on every block.
Off of Jackson Square in the alley beside
the cathedral, the apparently homeless
couple strolled with their pets. The dog
looked cleaner than them and the cat
rode on top of the girl’s backpack. All
looked to be well fed.
The Spotted Cat was crowded, a six
piece jazz band kept it hoppin’. The grey-
haired fifty-ish lesbians kept their eyes
locked on each other, smiling, hands
touching while they danced – a newly
discovered experience. The gay men
danced with the straight women, but
never with each other.
There was a wedding in Jackson Square
in the middle of the day. The couple said
vows facing the spires of St Louis, the
preacher stood with his back to the card
readers and voodoo practitioners calling
out to the tourists.