Wanda Coleman’s Roar

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 …

Arthropoda Californiae

Three weeks after my husband’s cremation
I cancelled the contract
with the exterminator.

Now, I share a home with arthropods.

They teach me to inhabit
hollow spaces. Their movements expand


You have to remember the Aspen grove;

the white stalks of trees, their stuttering leaves–

the descending quiet. Vesper sparrows.

No one beside you; no one behind you.

But you hear …

every you, every us

Think remember map our
every you every us every night every darkness
lay fear down
lay in sadness
carry this acre
taken from a map

Condominium Song #3

Steve speaks slowly, and because he is the 
Housing Association President,
he also speaks in detail, willing nothing
be missed or wrong. He is old so events
take on …