The Golden Lantern

Here on Barracks Street,
in the back of the Quarter,
one bathroom fits all.

In and out, all day and night,
the locals have drunk
their way through

decades of change.
Bras were burned
long ago—the pill

saved them from kids,
jobs, slow death
in the suburbs.

By midnight, the door
is propped open
to catch any breeze

from the street.
No one looks because
no one cares—

all drinks are rented.
An old queen who was
once a football player

but was born before
hormone shots,
“understanding,”

whips it out beneath
the gaslight, pees
in the street.

William Miller’s sixth collection of poetry, Recovering Biker, is forthcoming from The Edwin Mellen Press in the fall of 2017. His poems have appeared in many journals, including The Southern Review, The Penn Review, Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner and West Branch. He lives and writes in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

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