Its Southern California and there is a
raging river by my home – rain
a miracle in the worst of times
so much of it that the bleached-white teeth
of the weathermen shimmer when the
“Stormwatch ‘97” graphics flash on the TV screen.
No one could’ve anticipated the deluge,
running rapid down the channels of the
Los Angeles River’s raw concrete.
It echoes through suburban bedroom windows
roaring like nothing I had ever heard.
I grew up next to the sea, but it was neutered in
Long Beach, and silent.
Here was water living and breathing
throaty roars proof of trillion gallon capacity aqualungs.
It was exciting to see, between the apartment blocks
and overpasses, this vestigial vein full and
forcing its way through city asphalt to the ocean.
I remember early in the morning before school
watching the water rush by and seeing a bicycle
float past, somehow buoyant, its red frame turning
over and over, pedals waving solemn goodbyes
awaiting the brown pacific and its endless acres
of abyssal roads, riding down into submarine valleys
and the cracks of the crust of the Earth,
running into sludge and salt and plowing muck.
Surrounded by sea, by dark, the only one of its kind
afraid and shivering like a little child lost in a storm.