Journal » Trout 12 » Inventory For Visible Scars [Nina Seja]
   «       28       29       30       31       32    33    34       35       36       37       »   


Inventory for Visible Scars

Nina Seja

s p  r  e  a  d   a  c  r  o  s  s   t  h  e   p  a  g  e
is the only way I can write the United States,
but especially Los Angeles                                            
like the San Andreas fault line,
t  h  e   s  p  i  n  e   o  f   t  h  e   s  t  a  t  e

Rocky outcrops that become sharp silhouettes as the sky turns to dusk.
Foreboding and the electric charge of expectation.

“Be like a dog, ready to defend yourself,” her father had said. “This place
doesn’t welcome as easily as you may want.”
And pacing fast fast-paced down Lincoln
her face hard, she imagines herself a muscled pit bull,
because from only three days in Los Angeles she knows her father is right
feels the air change as she moves from its teeth
bares hers back

big sign saying: Tequiza. Beer Without Borders

she thinks of the street kids in the city of her birth,
gathering under the freeway underpass only ten minutes from Aotea Square
five minutes from the city mission
with the neon cross like Christ was ablaze in polyester
a beautiful blue garish star of Bethlehem

in a coffee shop on the corner of third street promenade
sipping the indigestible coffee
she watches the leathered men walk by and walking by
she sees them stream
and thinks if she could just get a bird’s eye view of
this place, she could see rivulets of poverty spreading across
the city

and thinks not about the bigness of Los Angeles or the smallness of Auckland
but of how many leathered shoes that match leathered faces
must get worn down here from walking hours to the nearest mission

and if she goes even further back through the atmosphere, past the orbiting satellites
could see the walkers moving past the borders into Mexico or
following the current into Canada.


 « contents » 
© Copyright 2004 Nina Seja & Trout.