The MFA in Creative Writing Program at Manhattanville College

June 14th, 2016

1 poem

Bourbon Street Angels

I hear angels hang out on Bourbon St.
They survey their territory,
stomp old stomping grounds,
elbow each other when some drunk
drifts out of Lafitte’s to his car.

They do not guide or save anyone,
they just survey
the doings of folks with a dollar or two
craving booze-lit zydeco,
prize any soul who drops change
in the cup of some poor boy tap-dancing
on the street to help his mama make rent.

Come first light, they pretend to have breakfast,
knock powdered sugar off each other
while they watch the couples
stopping for coffee and beignets
after a few hours between the sheets.
They know there is nothing like the taste
of sugar after the taste of sex.

They call each other cher but don’t speak
French, don’t speak to anyone but themselves.
No one can see them, that’s how they want it.
They look perfect, undiminished,
but only to each other. They never have to face
mirrors, their stories told, silenced long ago.


Tobi Alfier is a multiple Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee. Her most current chapbooks are “The Coincidence of Castles” from Glass Lyre Press, and “Romance and Rust” from Blue Horse Press. “Down Anstruther Way” is forthcoming from FutureCycle Press. She is the co-editor of San Pedro River Review (

What motivates her to create?
I can’t not. If I touch just one person with my words, if one person feels less alone, or connected, I have made a difference. That is all I could ever wish for, and what I hope to accomplish.

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