THE DEVIL WALKS US to the hat shop on Royal Street, talking in a voice like he eats rocks. The city is going to hell, he says. Shouldn’t he like that, you whisper, and we laugh and feel free, the sun already gone but light lingering like the raw pink of an open mouth. The smell of bourbon on your breath makes me want to take a bite out of your neck. You hold my hand like it is something extremely valuable.
In back of St. Louis Cathedral, a skinny boy in leathers moves his body like an S to a boom box beat we can’t hear over the city’s noise—car horns, the clop of slow-moving horses pulling buggies full of couples who point and exclaim over the devil, so that I feel strangely possessive: Find your own!