California I'd Bless Every Part. by Reba Beauchamp

Lo-static on Sunset & row upon row of cars
gurneyed against the road & the grain in-heat so dead-still

anyone watching might think them the frozen echo
of long-dead commotion. Los Angeles is a relic undigging itself

over & over: the city’s been warned earthquake but
when falling into its own eardrum the whole event’s by design.

Even the wafts of urine perfect & the burn that follows;
A Monet print in a whorl of trash; tarshadow eyepit.

Jewelry district & a woman pickets her body with a windbreaker:
reeking with clean. 12 new units on Skid mute history,

hanging its carapace from their sills. Shield or cracked thorax?
Shit or sculpture? A La Brea kiosk vomits Maps of the Stars.

Voyeur’s Digest. I grab a coffee. Holly-would-you say it
plainly but then the poetry’s gone. And if the moniker worked

I’d call upon the city’s brightest knifed angel: siphon the city’s
mouth from its gut, then touch the hidden voice box,

suck at the flutes in its ribbing. From this new fluid slick
the standstill. Wet the drought; move the still-living.