Southern Decadence

poetic_star's picture

Bucketfuls of gosling rain pour down
on the neighbor lady's plants as
I fiddle with the rawhide bracelet
you gave me for good luck.
It's ironic because if there's
anyone drowning here, it's you,
struggling to breathe in
the notorious deep end.
And yet, my throat tightens
every time I see you holding hands
with the transfer student from Biloxi,
the one with sunny hair
and a cruel wasteland grin.

He knows I'm jealous
so he takes advantage of
the celebrations in
the French Quarter,
pulling you closer in
his noose and water embrace.
It's strange how you're so
artistic and creative,
yet oblivious to his
masked wickedness
and harsh flirtation.
Darling, why do you
let yourself go blind like that?

I'm always pretending to read
in the library when you're near,
rubbing my arms and picturing
that fantastic moment when
you'll run away from him and
tell me, "Thanks for saving my
tiny bird-on-a-wire heart
and imitation pink sanity, darling."

We meet in New Orleans,
the city of bone debt sin.
Half-naked mannequins
dance on tabletops and
I wonder if they came from
small southern homes like
mine and whether they still
believe in true love or think
it's just drunken nonsense.

This train of thought
leaves me depressed
so I abandon my drink at the bar
and stumble outside in the strong
Decatur heat where you're
arguing with your boyfriend
in fierce whispers.
He tells you to go
shoot yourself with
your father's rifle,
the one he pointed
at your head when
you said you like men.

I stand there, stunned.
What did you ever
see in that person?
He's pretty, sure,
with firestorms in
his eyes but now
you're left all alone
in a scary corner of
the street and he's
already on the other
side of town, singing.

I'm not supposed to
see it but then a tear
rolls down your cheek.
And darling, you can't
take it back like a borrowed
coat because honesty
doesn't work like that.
It swallows you whole
like quicksand and devours
the last morsel of powdered
sugar distraction you clutch
on those unbearably
superficial evenings.

And so, I walk you back
to your aunt's house and
you try to kiss me at the gate
but I say no, even though I'm
dying to get inside you to
prove the other guy wrong
but that would be too easy,
and I like this cat and mouse thing.

Instead, we close the windows,
shutting out the loud jazz below,
and turn on the television.
I spill tea on the sofa and
my mother would've hit me
but you say it doesn't matter.
"Everybody makes mistakes,"
you whisper kindly in my ear.
Then you feel around for my
thumping clockwork heart
underneath my shirt and
I stroke your fallen angel limbs.

You explain what sex was like
with a youthful tyrant in skinny jeans.
After ramming your body
against the creaky bed frame,
he said in an emotionless tone,
"You might think I destroyed you,
but you were already broken
in dangerous pieces, beautiful."
He was only as sick as
the secrets that froze him over.

And I love you, honestly,
you, the boy with cafe
mocha skin and shy tendencies
but this is getting difficult because
I'm not repairable and you
refuse to be mended completely.
This passion is frightening
like the copycat moon in
the lackluster paper sky.
It's a biting, clawing desire that
we try our damnedest
to contain because
when it's set free,
you'll have to deal
with my fingers pressed against
your spine and I'll
have to surrender
to your tongue expertly scaling
over my mirror path stomach.

Ours is just one in
a million stories of
Southern Decadence get-togethers
and alcohol-tainted lips crashing like
lonely car accidents.
But in the smokescreen morning,
I'll still be here and
we can make biscuits and sip
chicory coffee on the balcony
under hanging Bourbon ivy,
the type that casts shadows
like ghosts on the 18th century cherry walls.
You won't have fresh scars
peppering your 19-year old body for once.


Bosemaster42's picture

Back in the saddle,

I see. Lovely story and I absolutely love the setting. Very Steamy!

poetic_star's picture


thanks, sweetie :P