Lafitte’s from a Pencil Sketch
French Quarter, New Orleans
I placed her as a lantern in the fog
of graphite on my way to rent a car
and drive to Baton Rouge. Her little dog
pulled hard, all right, but didn’t get too far.
A thumbnail on St. Philip Street is all.
I faced her toward the river in a shirt
or mid-length camisole. That’s all I had
to work with in a minute’s time and dirt.
She gives the composition something bad
to hold against a shadow on the wall.
Old blacksmith bar, the far end of the quarter
and a sky that begs an August hurricane.
Her melody already under water,
she will be the souvenir refrain,
the shade of grace responding to a call.