Mardi Gras, 1995
We must be bored to be made voyeurs
of this public display of affection.
The master walks you like a pit bull
leash taut from straining up and down
the gay section of Bourbon Street.
Polished with a coat of vaseline
your rubber suit glistens
like black patent leather shoes.
The sun is your tormenter;
you have mastered the master
whose whip beats impotently
on your legs you slough off
pain like a dead layer of skin.
A college boy steps out of the crowd,
you bend over a bow for the master.
Handed a 2×4, the boy swings
as if smashing a baseball
over Jackson Square into the Mississippi.
All we hear is thunk of wood on muscle;
awed, we stop drinking Hurricanes.