I. Friday

Thirteen deep in a flatbed truck
sounds mighty like a country western
song to me. Mardi Gras
is only for the very brave—or foolish.

It’s akin to Wal-Mart past midnight or
some natural disaster. All of a sudden
everybody’s equal. Imagine that.


II. Saturday

Pick one liquor, a better brand. How else
can a body sip ‘round the clock
from Friday till Tuesday next,
nigh on five days straight?

Now is as good a time as any to start
being choosy—especially considering
your judgment’s about to desert you.


III. Sunday

Segue to the third floor balcony, a rococo
hotel has never seemed more like bliss. Never
mind the throngs, I’ve got a box of beads and
a sterling flask curved like a lewd hand

against my ass. From on high I divine
peeling French doors and Ionic columns styling
an apropos frame for some wench’s pimpled chest.


IV. Lundi Gras

Only visitors believe the lore:  any fool
knows you can’t keep both arms up,
bellowing, “throw me somethin, mister”
for the entirety of even one parade.

Fuck Rex, I’ll wait for Zulu. Color-
mongers have turned this into a citified,
countrified, lowbrow affair.


V. Shrove Tuesday

Eye contact amid twilight rain.
A sudden hand. Hammered back.
A sudden whorl. A flambeau
against the undark, unseen. Furious

Breath. Unrest. The swoop of an arm.
Sharp beads creased into my palm during
A peaceable squabble. I emerge. Exultant.