In the smog, Gardenias bloom with courage.
Their petal-tips turn brown at first light or
touch—perfumed cigarettes with filter tips.
They’re a sign that all is as usual in
Los Angeles. Precious soup-stain city!
You’re always pushing to create one more
experience inside me before I
run out of room. I’ve broken minutes in
half like butter cookies, recounting the
stories you’ve told me just to stay alive and
acknowledged, (if only in my own mind).
Though madness slides by me like a cat at
my ankles, I can still say what I mean.
You’ve done me lasting good, Los Angeles.
At your altar, the beauty queens and the
black sheep become a pile of burning leaves.
I thought I was my father’s good, staunch girl,
but, I’ve come to know that I am Mother’s
mad child: wasted—waiting for the promised
day, the promised land, the usual miracles.