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LA Thanksgiving


I loathe the way you call
attention to yourself — you deserve it
when you’re ignored! You do. Who can stand
someone so persistently brash? Your gaudy flash —
I don't esteem myself like this.
You are so flawed. I have to step out, embarrassed…

You know, it’s only because of all that drama
that they cheer for all your troubles.
The stories they promote about you are
mostly about your wickedness.
They won’t acknowledge your intelligence
your highbrow side at all.  They want you to be
tinsel and seasonless palms, nothing more. 
They’re so persistent at it, you
believe these things about yourself.

Sometimes I believe them too. I have not been
faithful to your generous patience, nor
the anonymous comforts that you give.
You lure people with promises to lives
you later fix in post. I forget the way
you present, dutifully through our endless spats,
those carne asada quesadillas,
your quiet stunners of street art,
your Salonens and Sunset queens,
splenetic catastrophes, quirky intersections,
civil rights, sunny fashions, urban dread,
your west coast cool, your endless makeovers
(gifts to the world, which is ever
in need of makeovers) — and most of all,
the way you slink through neighborhoods,
quietly modern and linear, like nobody else.

So, so what if you’re a siren after all?
Those who hear the call will laugh
along with you, this inside joke we have:
Though everyone falls from Eden — a garden
of fruit, branches, and the wicked — you
are an Eden without repentance, closest to
the true in human hearts, as gardens are.