(Papa Jobu)

I was long term parking
On a faded metal bench
At a greyhound station 
During a sweaty New Orleans 
16 hour layover
When I saw him-
The lovechild of a three way between Bob Dylan, George Clinton and 
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
And he must've saw me, too
From over my right shoulder a brown bottle with no label dangled and a swampy accent demanded 
And so I did
I had nothing to lose anyway
I handed the bottle back and he came around and sat
Openly staring
So I stared back
And he started to laugh a good, clean, hearty laugh
"No one ever turns down Papa Jobu's rum"
I nodded my thanks
He turned away for a moment, reached into a thin plastic shopping bag
And handed me a small, thin burlap sack
Tied with tarred yute rope
"This Gris Gris will help you on your way, Carl"
I palmed it, sniffed, and dropped it in my shirt pocket. 
"I'm done here" he drawled, and slunk into the cluster of milling people with their
Empty eyes
Years later I hung it from my rear view mirror
There it stayed until it was sun faded
And even thinner
And small grey granules trickled out
Until one day in heavy traffic 
It burst
The Gris Gris now fine grey grit
Hanging in the atmosphere of my 
Then, and only then did it occur to me
I never told Papa Jobu
My name.