How We Left California

by Andrea Perkins

long finger of land disappearing
into unfocused ocean

we noticed ghostlings
and told them to live

they did but we already had an eye on the future,
would soon make our crossing

through nevada, past the graves of the unknown
chinese beneath texaco’s iron flag

outside the cafe where friendly waitresses
gave out a glitzy, meager sugar

i became a black baby
you a stolen horse

when we reached the new city
we went underneath it and built a theme park

now you could buy a wax king for a nickel
and watch the machine as it made him

*Photo courtesy Bill Gracey.