Counting Winters in Los Angeles
I no longer mark what falls in passing,
iron stones blazing through the night sky,
leaves turning dry in the autumn breeze,
or old men curled around fires
watching yesterday's news offered up
as ashes to the dark.
Hiding in the concrete-celled city,
my head is full of another country's snow,
a loose wind blowing through my room
at night, when I cannot sleep
and lie to myself in dreams
I've committed to memory.
I am a stranger to the city that burns
with too much neon, too much wine.
Each night I wind my sun-burnt car
through towers of glass and steel,
listen to the radiant hum of static,
the muted signal of an invisible sun,
the slow ticking questions keeping time.
What winter will take me home
down an ice-covered road
past the gray boarded shacks,
beyond the bending river's spine,
then plant me low
beneath the white-haired trees?
What wind will wrap itself
around my waist, and lower me down
to sleep and distant rain?