Daily Archives: January 3, 2023

Out West

I wish I could get back to San Diego
where the breeze is full of distant danger
as it comes in off the waves and warships
sit forever ready, but for the moment I was there
all was at peace and all I had to do was sit and watch
the light and the water and the bright promises
of what was ahead, and put what was behind
out of my mind.

I wish I could get back to Seattle
where I slept on a hotel roof and raised hell
with all my friends on streets in the shadow
of the Space Needle. It pointed up, I lay there
looking up, it barely rained that week, but I had my cot
under an overhang so what if it did? They say
it’s all gone, all I learned to love in a week, all the dirt
that made it lovely, all the night that made it brighter
in the safe corners of the hotel roof. 

I wish I could get back to a carnival I loved
as it was when I was eighteen — 
to any of them, really; terrifying workers
in the booths, terrifying rides in the midway,
a field full of games built to seduce and rob us
of our last dollars under the bright lights —

then I wish I could get back to how it was
in the dark field behind the carnival,
beyond the last slat fence; the field where I lay
on my back, her long hair framing my face from above,
the moon visible behind her and above us both,
as our hearts at last began to slow down.