El Nino

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.

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