At the Corner of Decatur and Saint Ann
Chella Courington
He stopped under a magnolia tree, breathing harder than usual. Was it the heat or the humidity or his third drink at lunch?  

Where was our first Cajun martini? he asked.  

Le Petit Theatre, she said, tracing the bow of her lip like a girl-in-waiting for her first kiss.  

When Alec Baldwin played Stanley?  

Yes, in the courtyard during intermission. I wore black velvet pants and you a silk jacket.  

She and he were kids then and believed life imitated art, quaffing vodka under screams and splitting muffulettas in Jackson's shadow.  

Did we sober up? she asked.  

At the Café du Monde, he said, remembering how the velvet clung to her ass, strong and tight like a runner, muscular in the right places.  

After Cajun martinis they ate gumbo and drank hurricanes down Bourbon to Toulouse and eventually the river. He bummed a cigarette from a trumpet player, floating a dollar into his case. She chastised him even as she stole a drag. Later, as always, as they must, they ate beignets and sipped café au lait. In a silver suit and tie the silver mime stood among back and forth travelers who bought jewelry and coins and Tarot readings from vendors on the square. The shiny wizard arrested time on a point of no circumference while women turned girls and retreated. Somewhere close, their beaux advanced without consent when she and he passed through the Pontalba porte cochere, already taken.  

First published: August, 2012
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