52 SONGS

...the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life...

Sunday, April 2, 2017

27. The Whole City

From 6th Street exit on the 101 north,
head east down hill through new

structures shadowing late afternoon sun,
until the street flattens and buildings on each side

lose their height, like walls of a gorge
when its river hits the alluvial plain.

The road seems to widen. On sidewalks
before storefronts are the tents 

of the homeless, orderly beside
debris that blows in a span of asphalt

largely free of cars but not of people,
who are not pedestrians, exactly,

because they do not wait for lights
to tell them when to cross, nor do they regard

tourists, passing through. Keep going, 
if you want, though this route may spoil somewhat

your thoughts about the event you're driving toward, 
at the art gallery, a festive evening

you have arranged, crudités chilling
in a backseat cooler, and which lies

on the other side of the unplanned city
--all of it, this whole city, unplanned. 

When you reach the demolished bridge 
you're there. 

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