Sun Rises in Mid-City, LA by Fred D’Aguiar

Call for wings, alligator skin, eagle eyes, dog ears, leopard speed GPS coordinates if body ever hopes to slip that helicopter whose searchlight combs late night revelers, two-job commuters, down in Arlington Heights.

Ripe for sprawl, mechanized dust, engine backfire or gun, cause drum an’ bass sweet so, wild so, madness take over and you muss tek a draw, buss an’ lick shot to rass, hence the sky patrol, cloud from countless pistons,

lands inside screens, coats laptop keys, prints fingers, spackles this chance to sit alone before things rev, crescendo, old me, oh my, surrounded by twisted palms flat against three of four skies, their honkytonk blue,

poised for squawking parakeet pinball machine flyover, as all things stop, twist, turn, look up, follow their zigzag, cut, bob and weave, scattergun plantings among palms, if body ever hopes for more than –

potluck green flurry, brass instrumental warm ups, their blessing of a life lived noisily serving animal flimflam, flux, speed, in good, quarrelsome company.

Call for wings on these mornings, temporary ones to join a crew bound for the next best feed amid high-topped perilous, aged-outside-the-cask trees, just to shoot, oh, well, yes, the breeze, among sheltering royals,

at sea, their held-breath, firework branches burst, splay, under jet belly, crisscrossed skies, ink, pong, made by this splurge, cough, spit, concrete graveyard don’t give a flying fuck city! Yo! Unheeded camp cry to commerce

whose plugged drains, traffic-light eyes, shuttered noses, stuffed mouths signal indifference to people huddled in doorways, beside shopping carts laden with their last precious bundles tied with frayed twine.

Music crowded at my birdfeed helped by a tinny fountain, versus wind-up wake yu-all jive, hustle for a dollar dustbowl conurbation. If body could ever hope, only not-I, but me, you, us, them dread could isolate, pl-ease,

selected engagement with this city, sky that just happened, might be a happening thing, pierced by palms on a growth spurt to some more opulent heavenly place,

where shopping carts fill for all and one door opens to another in a haven free of locks, guns, sirens, scalding dust, where splintered I, bifurcated lens, wait for that flock, come now, up close, here, not just for me.

 


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