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The Poetic City: “800 Bourbon” by Andrea Panzeca


Andrea Panzeca (Photo by: Kelley Crawford)

“800 Bourbon”

at a meet and greet with

Bianca Del Rio upstairs

standing around the bar

steps from the balcony

I imagined where my grandfather

and his sisters put their

furniture. where they slept.

I walked onto the balcony

rounded the block in the air

the wood soaking wet from

the rain that made Bianca late

but I was grateful to watch

Drunk in Love on the screen

with Mike in public. Don’t know why

I loved it. The food was good

and maybe homemade. Would I

have lied around (or laid? I never

get it right) on that balcony

in full display of Bourbon Street

St. Ann too. I probably would have been

working downstairs as a cashier

in the grocery. I wouldn’t’ve worked

at La Lune, would I? A nightclub.

A singer? Like my grandmother.

My grandfather divorced back when

it was rare and was excommunicated.

Excommunicated! They covered

the courtyard and you’re not

allowed to do that anymore.

Grandfathered in. I tell Bianca

my family owned the building

and she mentioned Pete Fountain.

Persana Shoulders was bossy.

(My grandfather’s idea of humor

was the name Ophelia Pulse)

She reached between Mike and me at the bar

as I admired my autographed photo

of a man in a dress. Clown in a gown

Bianca claims to be but we know better.

The show’s starting downstairs and we’re all

kicked out. I get another drink. Linger

up there as long as I can.

Persana shuts the door downstairs

like she owns the place. She does

it’s hers now. I can’t lie and say

I don’t wanna try to befriend her.


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