Unruly and Bittersweet, L.A.

There’s no such thing as abandoned houses, still
they line the avenues.

The marquee of a church on Main Street proclaims
“God loves you whether you like it or not.”

Work & play & then I’m buried in the canyon
walking paths, water basins & vintage cemeteries.

Where there’s no cooling our bungalow, a ladder leans
against it like an ingenue. Green paint fades

& love comes quickly & falls asleep
reading on a porch in summer balm.

Do I surprise myself? How easily.
Still, there are bees in the yard.

Yesterday 11 neighbors stood in my garden, three
generations, observing the cosmos

their purple blossoms. I peered through the glazing. Here
it is kindness to be left alone.

The tomatoes, my grandmother says,
have big eyes.

She means they grow fast. I grow crooked
where sidewalks flay open, creased by earthquake.

In the cracks, Coreopsis. Bitter lamb’s quarters.
Fields of amaranth. Walking down Echo Park Boulevard

I look up, see my friend wave. Misunderstood you are
people sitting in cars, people cursing in their cars,

wallowing hunks of steel on a circuit.
It’s running toward. It’s running toward.


what won’t burn when you’ve sown madness?

Dear Body—

The days poured out in a continuous stream, disappearing as though through a sieve.