Angel of the Valley
They all go to pray to the God that dangles
From the rearview mirror of a black El Camino.
It helps that he’s there, showing them the past,
Who they just cut off.
Rubber-necking, tired in the streets, the miniature
Deity shimmies, the dance of Reseda Blvd. traffic.
An ugly name for an ugly street
Where they sell chili flavored candy and pig intestines
To the children, from a push cart in the dusk.
While High school students neck each other
With Marlboro flavored saliva. Feel her up through
The oversized sweatshirt, blue like the Virgin Mary’s tears.
Cast eyes, dark as black rosary pearls
Between melting traffic lights and cocaine
Beer fights. They match the color now gone
From the road-kill cat, scattered to be forgotten
In the gutter. She won’t understand where he’s run off to,
Or why he won’t ever come home anymore.
He was struck by your Amen bumper stickers
And praised the church of plastic dashboards.
Here, too, she can ask for his forgiveness
Before being taken to the back seat, naked
With innocence; you’re a big girl now Mamasita.
Because he watched over you, your Angel
Your Angelino, Los Angelino, with his open shirt
Exposing his bleeding heart that wears
That same crown, waving to the men waiting
In the cold dawn to do your dirty day’s work.
This is where they wake up to. The exhaust
Toxic overcast skies. Lanes of white and red
Veins, blood work twinkling, pumping through the broken
Torso of the Valley, where angels too become angels.