New Orleans – Jessica Hylton

We went on one of those ghost tours
That wasn’t actually a ghost tour
But was really a history on voodoo
Given by a strangely proportioned
Woman who could barely stand without a cane
But who we had to struggle to keep up with
Once we hit the excrement covered streets

I had seen this one time before
Back in the hills when my cousin
Who had ruined his knees
Transformed into a much younger
Man dancing as he showed his city
Dwelling kinfolk places inhabited
Only by wildlife and tamed memories

“Can you imagine the horror
That happened here?” demanded
The tour guide as she shook
The cane she no longer needed
At a plain looking house
Where a mother supposedly
Slit her own children’s throats

As the crowed oohed and awed appropriately
Trying to justify the $20 viewing fee
For a large house on a public street
A couple walked out of the house
The man yards in front of a woman
Whose hair tried to conceal
A darkening bruise and the horror
That happened there now

Jessica HyltonJessica K. Hylton received her PhD from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and her MA from Radford University. She writes most of her poems on her cellphone while driving. She has wrecked three cars, but she finished her dissertation. Her work has been featured in the Lavender Review, the East Coast Literary Review, Cliterature, Visceral Uterus, and many others. She also is the founding editor of Fermata Publishing.