When the Wooden Horses Were Real

Maybe I drank too much, or not enough.
Perhaps it's the cool. heavy raindrops
falling in lackasaisical rhythms
on summer concrete, or rising
vapors of steam that recall a boy's
merry-go-round amusement. Phantom
notes muffled in passing wheels
of antique-green streetcars evoke
distant sounds of a calliope. Sugarplum
colors of carousel chargers round
U-turn corridors on St. Charles Avenue
where Uptown Victorians overlook
a live oak canopy. Like children,
Tulane joggers are running, but tired
faces are serious like dying men
ruining my reverie of another place,
where wooden horses were real.
Unwilling for the spell to be broken,
I drop heavy sounds of quarters
into the streetcar's metal and glass
receptacle. I watch the world revolve.

John Cantey Knight