Los Angeles, Late 1980s

My knee-high lace-up moccasins made me
forget the nights my mother was lost in vodka.
I walked deep in the gunk of Hollywood.
The stretch of sidewalk glittered. Vendors
sold band pins, bumper stickers, pot leaf
and mushroom patches. In the old man’s apartment
was an aquarium that held snakes, spiders,
pigeons. In our glorious India prints,
monkey boots, plaids, and Venice Beach jewelry
we frequented the all night newsstands and
Ben Frank’s. Kurt and Courtney fed each other
under hot lights, ice cream sundaes melting
while we plotted from …

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