A Roll and Beat

Fats was on the car radio.
Mellow as a ripe melon
spiked overnight with bourbon,
his voice was New Orleans.
Oversized rings of gold
and diamonds covered fingers.
Full French cuffs and collar
bulged in massive blackness.

A crescent stickpin and cuff links
glowed like cigarettes
in moonlight as he drove
a new baby-blue Coupe de ville
over the river, singing
a melody with a roll and beat
as smooth as the Big Easy.
He waved expansively, cruising.

John Cantey Knight