Los Angeles, Late 1980s

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Newsstand, 32nd Street and Third Avenue, Manhattan." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1935.

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 the bushes how to
steal their souls.