I began leaving home in the womb,
winter-weary parents packing up
kids and dreams, fleeing frozen for fallacy
ill conceived through jeweled blinders,
backs turned stubbornly on a kinder fate.
No Valley Girl at heart,
I came to rely upon mountains and creatures
too small for others’ eyes
before residential areas, subsumed by cloverleafs,
merged to obliterate views while human refuse piled up,
pockmarking Mother Nature’s fair face.
Indulging in what remained of pungent eucalyptus
and bright streamwater, dappled desert sunlight
shook through crescent foliage,
disrupted only when golf course dozers began pushing it,
face-down, into memory.
I knew stars then, before too many streetlights
overwhelmed their brilliance, and all the glittered heavens
dropped in dismay onto garish costumes and red carpets,
orange groves morphing into curbside lawns scythed
under blades of immigrant workers, slaves to glitterati
far removed from etched faces of arroyos and succulent nopales;
freeways bisecting the city’s heart like some mad surgeon on a bender.
As capillary-rich earth flesh receded beneath vast rivers of asphalt,
lack of sufficient life force banished my spirit from that place
as a numb acceptance of the inevitable set in;
sights fixed now on distant horizons.