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One Night in New Orleans

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Below is the poem entitled One Night in New Orleans which was written by poet Erin Beckett. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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One Night in New Orleans

On Bourbon Street,
strippers occasionally step out for a smoke,
scanning the scenery for potential clientele.
Flashing lights illuminate eager faces,
good business in a place that hardly sleeps.
There's a sign up there now 
that's got a devil's tail with angels wings,
a place called Saints and Sinners. 
It goes well with the soft Zydeco 
sweeping down the streets-
Nice and easy.
You can imagine the waves of soft 
and loud voices, up and down,
are lyrics to the music.
Mellow and sharp, thronged together 
by a net of harmony.
Songs of nothing in particular.

I started thinking in the flow of it all, with the buzz
of a Pat O'Brien's Blue Hawaiian in my swing.

Then and there,
I made a half-pact with the devil,
and another half with good. 
I'd start paying attention 
to the meaning of a two-sided coin.

There's a way of thinking that goes like this:
If you're bad sometimes, 
then you're only half bad,
goodness trailing behind you
like a faithful dog. Instinct,
it's how we are.
Nice and easy logic.

To some this doesn't go down well,
like old religion and voodoo in the South.
Because it feels too good, 
looks so natural it must be sin.
But I like the music and I like the dirt,
the strippers with their sweet perfume,
and the laughter that gets heavier 
with a little booze on the tongue.
And just like love, 
a little sin can wash anything down
like a good southern bourbon.

Copyright © Erin Beckett

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