pulled east from Santa Monica toward the beacon of
First Interstate; office lights wipe in rain across
the glass as I'm fed downward. I steer my own surrender
north on the Hollywood, off on Silver Lake Boulevard,
up the ravine.
Each street's a wrinkle stretched or strained.
No hiding. Laugh lines, scars, life lines and futures,
places that haven't been kissed for so long. New
cuts open and are filled with those who'll take
the least pay. Bundles sigh on warehouse docks
on Industrial, indelible.
As I undress, the bright crown of the tower holds
with its one red warning over the crest, reminds
me there is a center. It sees me, too, as I set
the alarm. Magnets draw, repel.
Finally stopped, the night suddenly clear, I can
sort planes from stars, cats from sirens. Though
I know there cannot be a place for restlessness,
I collect all I can feel into passion for the city
that takes me, moves me, demands I touch it here.
Copyright c 1996 by Oberlin College. May not be
reproduced without permission.