. . . like the ship moored at the gift shop,
you sail away from me each day, the haze,
the clustered beach, the Great Pacific waving
like your friend the sun
whose fiery pacing sells
your sweet life on the balding hills,
their Saints’ eyes popping, wooden, concrete,
armoring the sunlashed figurines,
winding roads beneath their reign.
The hills are sparse and rich
growing perfect palms and walls
I am heading west and steady
like the one-way sun
into the sea—
how the desert hills are dampened!—
suburb of the live, live sea,
Only nights come clear,
dressed up, affecting
veiled stars, child eyes
dancing on the harbors,
on the hibernating sea.
San Diego, night town, golden setting,
a newly famished friend is here
on devastating wheels
of steel and chrome, calculating,
even this: your scalloped tapestry
and you are bound to sky-write
that there is nothing left
to conquer. All is safe:
the Spanish lace, the wildlife.
Copyright © 1999 by
Helen Degen Cohen.