seven dollars for ten minutes of air conditioningin the front seat of a minivan weaving through the north-south maze of downtowna silver embroidery needle stitching togetherclubs and mask shops and bloody marys and red dressesthat make the bright, loud fabric of this citywe pass the sign for Bourbon Streetright after the driver tells me the street we’re currently on is an entire block of gay bars(that would explain the excess of leather and red)Bourbon Street is right before Royal Streetwhich we turn onto and stop after a block at a sign which states politely but firmly closed to vehiclesI tip my driver and open my doorsuddenly, the screams of a city steeped in historyin voodoo and in musicin rumor and death and magicthick and wet and heavy like the August air 

seven dollars for ten minutes of air conditioning
in the front seat of a minivan weaving through 
the north-south maze of downtown
a silver embroidery needle stitching together
clubs and mask shops and bloody marys and red dresses
that make the bright, loud fabric of this city

we pass the sign for Bourbon Street
right after the driver tells me 
the street we’re currently on is an entire block of gay bars
(that would explain the excess of leather and red)

Bourbon Street is right before Royal Street
which we turn onto and stop after a block 
at a sign which states politely but firmly 
closed to vehicles

I tip my driver and open my door

suddenly, the screams of a city steeped in history
in voodoo and in music
in rumor and death and magic
thick and wet and heavy like the August air