Gnats & Ladybugs

Hello New Orleans.
Good bye the same.
Face like a remarkable movie in sepia.
The kind you only wanted to see just once,
and then brag about, only forever,
until the real story aged into a beautiful powdered lie.
You were in many ways as troubling,
as you were charmed.
Alive with the pleasing debauchery
and putrid vanity of Bourbon Street.
The world came to see your handiwork,
the French Quarters,
your crowning achievement,
your best heartache.
While they gazed,
you stole from them,
their breaths,
their composure,
their manners.
The filthy rich rubbed elbows with the verminous poor.
The homeless were scattered about your avenues like bad seeds.
Your cobbled streets, like veins,
gurgled with raw sewage.
People spat at your feet in open admiration.
People pissed in your street corners but with high opinion.
The very smell of you, a dream died.
You irritated and pleased.
Sweetened and embittered.
Your nightlife,
a remarkable carnival of colors and lights
in constant cyclic renditions.
Every face, once seen, once remembered.
Every sin, no worse than the next.
An overdose imminent,
A love story closing,
Death was constantly near,
And we opened our bare chests then.
But you were only meant to be taken in whispers.
In your heart danced thieves and bankers,
grad students and fools,
priests and wiccans,
artists and pranksters.
But after a while,
you turned a painful scene.
And like a nagging mute,
you amused and irked,
but mostly irked.
Big words only you can mine.
Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for showing your scars.
Thank you for secrets spilled.
See you, maybe, at another funeral;
when I am certain,
to find you even more filthy,
loud, garish, enigmatic and obtuse.
I am convinced that these heavenly qualities
are what makes you your most special.