This side of Strayhorn
The ragtime virgins
are Creole in the multicolored
vermillion street lights;

street lights jitter
across the face as if
a muscle twitching, or
sighing from eyeball
to ear lobe,

the southern courtesy
is customary in the
canyon, where the bugle
burns through bent
venetian blinds, and a
saxophone conforms to
the spine in slope,

the ragtime
Dixieland tastes like
daylight when it's hot
and the horizon is
speckled in night.