The Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France,
now called St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans was first built in 1718.
They hand out glow-in-the-dark rosaries for Mardi gras
so folks can find
their way to Jesus in the dark.
Come, pick your way through the park
cross Decatur to drink coffee at Cafe DuMonde,
have more beignets,
trail powdered sugar and beads
to stare the Old Man in his muddy eyes.
Hanging ferns and foibles
line balconies where voices speak
but you cannot understand on Toulouse Street:
you are but a traveler here even
when you've walked these cobbled stones
for twenty years.
Bend warp and weave your dinner;
string the lost
beads to sell to the unsuspecting
because anything goes
and the party will go on anyhow.
Beyond the sequined mask
naught but hollowed eyes you do
not want to see and that clown
you laughed at, but did not pay
juggles souls behind your back.