One thief brings in the others, Adore liked
to say. They come in her house, all they get
is grief, her gris-gris tools and little else . . .
In her youth there were the thieves of her heart.
She broke it open so they could get in
and all she got for it herself was grief.
Worst of all was the thief of death, Ira’s.
Neither she nor Madame Ju-Ju could break
the dams built to stop his river of blood.
She’s got a client now in her back room,
a lady who wants to be immortal
and thinks that way she can buy groceries.
Adore lights the candles after the door
is shut that was open all morning long.
Then begin the hours there is no time for.
Juan went out for a walk that turns out long.
He could go by Ray’s, see Rocky, stop in
to see his brother at Madame Peggy’s.
Juan had so little money he went by
Hotel HOTEL just to see if they knew
who he was. If they did, he couldn't pay.
Except for the Quarter, New Orleans
is quiet. There is no need for parties
to pay the rent except where the thieves were.
If the thieves are poor, they feed on the poor.
Who else do thieves know as well as their kin?
Where else can they go to be forgiven?
When Adore is through and the woman walks
through the back door opening to the sun
the shades are raised with the front door open
and any thieves passing by know better
than try their luck on this gris-gris woman
who sends the immortal for groceries.
(10 February 2011)