the air is thick

even at this early hour

humidity engulfs

smells from the night before

and the night before and the night before

ooze from the buildings and street

beer, sweat, bleach

slap you in the face

tingle your nostrils

stragglers from last night

drunk revelers


city workers spray the street clean

for tonight’s show

i’ve walked this street

many times

years ago

at dawn

on my way to work

accompanied by prostitutes

then as now

bourbon street

at 6am

you are different

but very much the same