11:57 in the French Quarter
I grab my dad’s warm hand.
We walk around observing the streets,
the people, the shops, the smells and the sounds.
A man standing on a balcony
requests to see my breasts in return for beads.
I subtly raise my shirt to get a reaction from my dad.
My dad pulls my shirt down and puts his
stubby hand over my nonexistent cleavage.
My dad then stares the man down and escorts me
out of his field of vision.
We find ourselves on the sidewalk
with people blowing smoke in our faces.
I never liked the smell of weed, I still don’t.
We look to the left to see countless homeless
people sleeping on the sidewalk.
I tug on my dad’s hand until he gives me $20.
I drop it into someone’s cup.
They remind me that I am blessed.
Cafe Du Monde is within our field of vision now.
The line isn’t too long, surprisingly.
We cross the street where two men are throwing a baseball
and we sit down for a 12:15 serving of beignets and hot chocolate
We finish our midnight treat and head back to the hotel.
A drunk woman hits on my dad, and then on me.
We look at each other and can’t help but laugh.
I begin to wonder what my mother is doing.
She doesn’t get bothered when women hit on my dad
she just laughs, and that’s my cue to motion to her diamond.
When we get back to the hotel a man is sitting at the piano
playing jazz, and I can’t help but soak in every moment of the night.