Wanda Coleman’s Roar

Aerial view of the Los Angeles skyline. Courtesy of TravelingOtter/Flickr.

I don’t smoke weed, I smoke palm
trees. I rise into clouds like

the 110-105 interchange. I take back
airspace from a LAPD chopper, examining

freeways; concrete ribbons, anchoring our smog
and beaches to the West Coast. Each night

I dream about Wanda Coleman.
She tells me one day I’ll be

as big as the Watts Towers. She says,
point your finger in any direction, eventually

you’ll hit a freeway. Her laugh, a roar.
I marvel at how Manchester Ave. creeps

into Firestone Blvd. I promise myself
when the freeways begin to crumble,

and the city drifts into the Pacific,
I will stand watch. When the final palm

tree goes up in flames, Wanda
Coleman’s roar will be the last thing

I want to hear.

Nikolai Garcia is associate editor for Dryland, a literary journal based in South-Central Los Angeles. His first chapbook, Nuclear Shadows of Palm Trees, will be published this year.
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