The Poetic City: "800 Bourbon" by Andrea Panzeca
at a meet and greet with
Bianca Del Rio upstairs
standing around the bar
steps from the balcony
I imagined where my grandfather
and his sisters put their
furniture. where they slept.
I walked onto the balcony
rounded the block in the air
the wood soaking wet from
the rain that made Bianca late
but I was grateful to watch
Drunk in Love on the screen
with Mike in public. Don't know why
I loved it. The food was good
and maybe homemade. Would I
have lied around (or laid? I never
get it right) on that balcony
in full display of Bourbon Street
St. Ann too. I probably would have been
working downstairs as a cashier
in the grocery. I wouldn't've worked
at La Lune, would I? A nightclub.
A singer? Like my grandmother.
My grandfather divorced back when
it was rare and was excommunicated.
Excommunicated! They covered
the courtyard and you're not
allowed to do that anymore.
Grandfathered in. I tell Bianca
my family owned the building
and she mentioned Pete Fountain.
Persana Shoulders was bossy.
(My grandfather's idea of humor
was the name Ophelia Pulse)
She reached between Mike and me at the bar
as I admired my autographed photo
of a man in a dress. Clown in a gown
Bianca claims to be but we know better.
The show's starting downstairs and we're all
kicked out. I get another drink. Linger
up there as long as I can.
Persana shuts the door downstairs
like she owns the place. She does
it's hers now. I can't lie and say
I don't wanna try to befriend her.
Kelley Crawford is a professor, writer, mentor, dancer, and constant questioner. If you would like to contact Kelley Crawford, you can email her at email@example.com.