Rhythms: A Southern City with Modern Gothic Charm

person s shadow Photo by Nadi Lindsay on Pexels.com

by LJ Frank

It’s known for the Blues playing in the background in worried notes

under cobalt skies mixed with white clouds,

a prelude to the discordant sounds of the city’s traffic,

greeted by blood-shot eyes parched from the humid winds

of yesterday’s misplaced hopes and false smiles,

iced coffee with whipped cream and coffee beans sprinkled on top

dripping down the sides of a plastic cup,

the nasal sound of the tiresome Breaking News

that blares on a radio from the open window of a truck,

while a toothy politician wears a badge –  I’m running for office!

He pats an apparent friend on the back touching a scabbed over soft spot,

recognized in the side-glance of the man’s troubled eyes,

only to be interrupted by a large dog that raises his hind leg,

shudders and pisses on the hood of a mixed breed car,

while a boy yells at another across an alley – talk to my lawyer!


And a voluptuous woman dressed in a black leather skirt

with details like burgundy nail polish to match her purple blouse,

lightly slaps the ass of a slender woman wearing a collar and walking beside her,

a young couple with enigmatic features hold hands wearing headphone sets,

sitting on a bench at the edge of a cobblestone street next to a wharf,

a striking woman catches one of her four-inch high heels in a crack

and swears in the name of the Son and his relatives,

while a young man with a degree from a local college

holds a sign that reads “will work for food,”

and a short-haired man in a polo shirt and pressed khaki shorts

looks warily at a long-haired guy in blue jeans, t-shirt and a sports coat,

while faces from other parts of the country wait in line for a cold brew

at a century old tavern across from algae smelling water

and a wrinkled old woman wipes her forehead with a faded handkerchief

then touches the soft grin that quietly crosses her thick lips,

amid the aroma of grilled vegetables and fish that comes in waves

mixed with the fragrance of freshly planted flowers

touched by the Spanish moss that hangs from hardwood trees –

a Southern city with modern Gothic charm.


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