Bywater, New Orleans

Bywater, New Orleans

Bywater, New Orleans

A Poem by Charlie Stephens

At the country club                                                                                                                                —not really what it sounds like—

Or maybe it is:

It’s a lot of homosexuals or pansexuals (or whatever!) drinking hard liquor around a swimming pool.

A lost band-aid brushed against me when I finally got in for the side stroke.

This estate probably used to be kept up by slaves, and before them, the Huomo were here, free and warm, with their gorgeous, musky bison.

I swam back and forth in the teal, and E. sat on a lawn chair and smoked a rollie in exchange for giving a beautiful young man love advice: 

“If he isn't responding to your texts, forget him.”

There was a woman in an emerald green swimsuit who looked just like Miranda July but held her wrists out, exaggeratedly limp, as she sashayed to the cabana bar

An older tattooed hippie with a small crowd around him told a story                                        about getting conned, and everyone laughed.

But I just keep thinking about those majestic, disappeared bison.

There are only three African Americans here at the country club. Disappointment in white people floats to the surface just like that band-aid, which now sticks to the side of the pool, and I am suddenly wondering what every person here is feeling and thinking.

And the speakers are pumping out my own-apparently-not-so-unique playlist.

And the hot tub in the corner under the dark foliage is disproportionately chemical.

And these New Orleans palm trees just sway and sway and sway and sway and sway.

Survival of the Fittest

Survival of the Fittest