THE EXOTIC LADIES OF RUE ST. DENIS

by Kristen CoConis

As night shadows darkened the alleyways, the air grew thick and cloyed with desire.

Crazy-colored neon beckoned the walkers and gawkers.

Light haloing around black-curtained doorways led into temptation.

Precocious young men clustered in twos and threes

to peer into smoke-filled windows, feigning interest in the plat due jour

as they steeled themselves to journey deeper.