Tuesday, June 30, 2009


The old women form a circle--

Babushkas escaped from Stalin

To East Los Angeles--like buzzards

Around me: hunching shoulder

Blades, flapping neck skin,

The hopping excitement, the

Bulbous greed-stricken eyes.

Squawking claustrophobic crush.

Kissing lips peck flesh from

Ligament, suck marrow free

From deep, sluice lipstick-stained

Saliva, pinch skin to oblivion.

"Ohh, the little grandson of Moisi!"

I am bones; I rest in a pile

On the salt flats of California:

Baked brittle, old sock white,

And dry like cinnamon.

Somewhere a jet turbine

Flames a converted sedan

Into a cotton candy plume.

Rivets strain. Cracked rubber

Tires skitter off the sand into the sky.

A happy moon bobs in the acid

wash afternoon. I fall from above,

Land back on the rigid, oak, church pew--

I struggle softly to unzip my flame-

Retardant suit, with the cape and the blue

Stripe; the metal tear, conspicuous

As candy-wrapper crackles.

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