Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009: On the Street….Vika, Paris

Bourbon Street, Morning

Low clatter of tables being dragged out of doors,
Of carts of pralines being wheeled and steered to corners.

Seven hours earlier, men heavy and ungraceful
as drenched sponges sloshed their weight into one another,
women, strangers, stone doorways. Everywhere collisions
or threats of collisions: girls on borrowed balconies,
hands yanking shirts to expose the fishlike, jiggling skin,
leaning against the cast iron rails, throwing their voices
into the hazardous night. The stilled and jarring authority
of horses, clopping over plastic cups and paper disintegrating
like oatmeal. When bodies have retreated into homes and hotels,

it’s someone’s job to lug a black hose out into the road
and let loose a flood to clear the grime, to leave
the streets shining, clean as kitchen tiles.

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