b.z. niditch | in the french quarter


Disguised with grief
in her short life
painted up
with her face pack
by her jewelery box
given nine Christmas’ ago
with frozen ornaments
on her small hands
by the crab shell ashtray
of smoking butts
in funereal weariness
wasted away
in front of assorted wigs
from rays of light
in a galley of poses
at the faded French blinds
aspiring to play piano
to accompany the gig
of her ex trumpet player
and band leader
in the Red Light district
trying to go easy
on the bourbon
in the cold water flat
hearing drums beating
in her migraine head
on a starving bed
always wearing
this nouveau riches
night gown picked up
for a song
in the thrift store
leaving her alone
with a newly bathed tureen
of cold turtle soup
her neighbor left
for later to mess with
after her John leaves
insisting the music sheet
for her main man
has not been lost.

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