Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Ghosts of Mardis Gras

(written in 2006 after Katrina)

            Rex floats along familiar passageways, past curious faces, in a city that begs to be reborn. Once King of Carnival, this self-conscious parade looks out into the scant, fawning crowd and turns away. Who are these tiresome crashers, always spilling beer and crying out for beads?
           He and the others weren't always like this. They used to make room for the strangers. And sure liked showing them a good time. And then they disappeared. In the night, after the disaster, carrying their own wreckage, they fled into the shadows. Now banished from the open shelter of the nation’s biggest party, they are traveling on.
            Here, it’s your turn.  Dry your cheeks and throw down that tissue. Make merry, fearsome reveler! Slip on a party mask and raise your go-cup.