While Walking Down Esplanade After Midnight (Rough Draft)

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I want to be allowed to be Snow White

dainty while walking down

the street at midnight, but the city never

forgets to bring me back down to earth, says keep

an attitude as crude as our wobbly streets.

 

It’s history. Deep South city ports

have been inviting the dirt

under their fingernails for centuries

and their descendants like to prey after sunset.

 

And so we are women constantly

balancing our duality: tiptoeing on thin

heel sandals, applying our lipstick, mascara

like a queen, sipping a cocktail or holding

our liquor, smiling sweetly at a wink–

but Southern Belles along the crescent river

also gotta wear barbed wire like a sheer blouse,

walking tall, shoulders squared,  fight

face ready with a soft sparkle under eye shadow.

Looking pretty. Being deadly.

Acting like a lady with a pinch of bad ass

while surviving murder capital.

 

Note: Thoughts while walking down New Orleans streets late at night. 

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