It's raining in downtown New Orleans
I can hear the drops beating
beating on my office glass

I look up from my screen
through rivulets I can see people in 
hurrying with
newspapers over their heads

Their own businesses worth more than my business.

Alex and I run to the corner
the coffeeshop's promised warmth
tea, soup, coffee, people and chess
      his electric blue windbreaker
      my wet cotton shirt

I have hot hibiscus tea 
light sugar
tuna on wheat with sprouts and swiss

This window shows our streetcars
electrical showers of sparks in the rain
one coffeegirl with the communist tatoo talks jazz
nobody mentions the chemical scar

I swallow my sandwich and cross the tracks
buisnesses are hermit crabs,
the antebellum cotton building with the modern bank
shadows industries invented in the last five years

looking up into the past gets rain in my eyes
I put my sunglasses back on.

It was a bright sunny day in mid-March when the professor and I strode down Bourbon Street. We had just turned the corner from Canal Street when the sunshine I had chewed earlier began to kick in.

We passed the usual lot of street musicians and performers en route to a place to eat. Finally we decided on Mike Anderson's, as it looked generic enough. A couple of Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lagers later we were feeling better. The professor turned to me and asked, "What are your plans for the week?" I had no reply. I had no plans. What would I do? How would I occupy myself in this foreign city?

Once the sunshine kicked in the answer was obvious. Enjoy the trip, and smile all the way.

I ordered the butterfly shrimp, as the waiter recommended it. From what I can remember, it was delicious. With lunch out of the way, it was time to see this damn town. I had a lead on a store on Decatur that might have what I was looking for. I bid good day to the professor and I was off.

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