Church doors close at dusk
Canticles fade to murmurs
Incense lingers in the air.
Fake jewelled women arm in arm
with gurning fools step out into the night.
Silks shimmer, velvets fold,
and draped in feathers, fur and finery
they discard their inhibitions.
Casting off age and infirmity they walk beside
cross dressing youths and androgynous muses.
Anything goes and nobody knows
who’s behind the mask or makeup.
Wigs, turbans, top hats, tiaras,
veils and fedoras.
A world of dreams and make believe.
Sleep deprived but energised by moonlight,
thriving on adrenalin,
Absinthe and Eau de Vie,
revellers dance in the streets and alleyways.
Tall stilt walkers cast shadows
over swan necked Nubians.
Princes, paupers and snake oil talkers
forget their positions or earning a living.
Tonight they mingle as one,
moving to the beat of the carnival drum.