252 Readings

California Eclogue No. 1

Rounding the bend on Los Virgenes,

it happens every time. The canyon turns ocean

and I begin to cry. Salt-water heart, still so dry

from all of the years spent in that desert. 

I annoy everyone with my Whitmanesque outbursts.

Dolphins! The light! See those clouds perching like crows? 

Half a century and I am newly born in this wild, trembling space. 

Oh, yes, I know about the fault lines. But doesn’t life 

feel like a persistent before and after?  

We’re here!

I may be an exclamation point but didn’t you see 

the workman suspended to the side of that building, his speckled

blue sweatshirt evoking the rusts from the earth, and the way

his paintbrush abruptly paused mid-air when he noticed the sea?


Did you catch his eyes widen for a moment, how he then returned 

To paint a caution line knowing it is really the horizon.

Posted 12/06/19
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