Ghazal of the Traffic
The sky blues yellow like smokers’ teeth tar in the city.
Smokers are made to take notice outside bars in the city.
The clutch, brake, gas, repeat rhythm numbs my skull.
Headaches move slow, jammed, like cars in the city.
I want to dip my toes in sand and lay on the water.
It’s hard to stay focused when temperatures soar in the city.
On a corner a child sells ripe mangos, yellow and green.
She looks familiar, but I have traveled too far in the city.
A hipster girl draped in vintage wails down Hollywood Blvd.
Countless are the broken dreams and scars in the city.
Radio gossip: coke-filled-photos, anorexia, Anna Nicole.
We keep our famous in air-punched-holed jars in the city.
The day turns to night’s sky like deep waters turn secrets,
and sometimes I ask, What if we saw stars above the city?
Speakers spill with Mariachi crooning a flowery Xochinero.
Tonight, home is a tear-dropped Mexican guitar in the city.
Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo is a poet, essayist, and native Angelino. She is a literary curator for Beyond Baroque Literary/Arts Center, was nominated for a 2009 Pushcart Award, and is co-founding editor of The Splinter Generation. Her work has been published in The Los Angeles Review, PALABRA, and The Umbrella Journal. You can check out her blog on immigration at xochitjulisa.blogspot.com.
You can download this poem in pdf version at http://www.writersatwork.com/poem11/Poems11/mayPoem11.pdf.