Faustís hot birds, fish mitt Rhine wine,
and great steins of foamy ale.
The Old Southern Hotel with a bronze plaque
marking the grave of Pontiac.
The cigar store of Tom Kearney
from the back of which the great boss James Gay Butler ruled.
From Third and Second Streets, Washington to Elm,
the brash, raw smell of bale on bale of furs.
From the South, aromas of coffee grounded and roasted,
chocolate and molasses candies being churned.
All tempered with a sour whiff of jute.
From the Southern to the Great Riverís edge, old stone and brick buildings.
Cocaine Hollows it was called from Elm southward.
Plum, Cherry, and Valentine Streets were the poor tenderloin;
mecca of bell hops and punks with four-bits to spend on a night of love.
There was some virtue in its razing, no doubt.
But once, after dining, I walked down there and sat in the sun,
now amid the waste of cobblestones.
Nothing standing but the church of Louis of France,
like a corpse buried in a shallow grave with one hand left exposed as a
Peter Schorsch, 26, is a political consultant based in St. Petersburg, Florida. His work during the 2000 election season merited a National Pollie Award and several first-place Addy's. He is also a policy analyst and senior writer with the James Madison Institute: A Foundation for Florida's Future. Peter is a regular contributor for a variety of newspapers, magazines and political and public policy journals. He plans to attend law school "soon."