Poetry / Poets / Writers / Writing

IN NEW ORLEANS by BZ Niditch

In New Orleans
on Bastille Day
by the French quarter
bookstore where
I gave an urban read
and remembered
the wounded sailor
hunched up
on St. Charles Street
kicking off his damp shoes
from the dilated rain
under the luminous moon
returning from a war
that he hated
when drafted
from high school
at carnival time
in a creepy conflict
almost blinding him
who played a solo sax
based on my poems
that I shared with him
shivering from
monster flashbacks
then hiding under a table
when we brought him
turtle soup
and French bread
as suddenly fear left him
in the darkness
of untasted shadows
and he still composes
saying he was once
so lonely back home
he died many times
from indifference
and now is a band leader
having escaped
some of his past
in music’s own voice
knowing others stopped
to listen.

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