Storyville, Louisiana, 1912

The Red-light district belongs to a certain beat,
a Taboo, where saxes wail over Cupid’s defeat
to a Cello-woman on Iberville. Her sweat
rolls down her maple thighs, allows the bass to speak
as sex sells on the corner of Basin and St. Louis Street,
near where Jazz players and Hoodoo merchants meet,
ready to possess the living in this Louisiana heat.

Burgundy fogs sway onto the risky red bricks
slithering under those cool dim candle sticks.
Tourists know to avoid the groovy puddle’s tricks
and step aside, to where an alley-cat tips some lady’s lick.
Spells flowing onto lounges were clients greet
with glass drinks that will taunt his feet,
to his ears her words would become obsolete
as the Salope’s touch lowers beneath the table-sheet.

Balcony gates begin to rust,
as little Louie Armstrong says nothing still like Spanish moss.
With buckets he delivers red brick dust,
so Voodoo Queens can lay-down gris-gris at dusk.
No children allowed during the festivities at night,
but jazz demons linger about little Armstrong’s delight.
Despite a curse, a kid’s voice hidden in the fields ignites.

***

Fausto Barrionuevo was born and raised in Miami, Florida. He has graduated from FIU with a BA in Literature and is currently applying to creative writing programs in the United States. Other than writing, he enjoys surreal art in the local museums and is an avid jazz enthusiast.

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