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Category archive for: Brian Satrom

Altadena

Some streets curve. Not all the streets go through.

From a nearby stadium sounds

of a cheering crowd. You were going to teach;

I was going to be a house husband

and write. The man living with his mother

half a block away drank during

the day in a pickup he’d park by our house

while we were at work. He’d throw empties

underneath our oleander hedge. Everything

seems present and past at the same time.

past tense like, Remember how nights the city lights

slowed like embers? Present like, I wonder

if water still drips into the fireplace

when it rains. Summers neighbors we never saw

drained their swimming pool into the street.

Parrots made a racket in the palms.

Exotic trees stained the asphalt

jacaranda purple, olive black.

After wind storms the litter of seeds, seedpods,

fronds. Jehovah’s Witnesses, briefcases in hand,

at the front door. A family

of raccoons knocking over trash cans,

a clatter like they were playing.

A Ford Mustang waiting to be restored.

Coyotes trotting down the middle

of the road, dazed, as if they’d expected

to find themselves somewhere else.

Stairs that once lead to a hotel entrance

leading nowhere, just foundations remaining.

Low-hanging phone lines, insulation drooping,

blue sky tangled in wires.

Roosters, peacocks in people’s yards.

Police helicopters. Once or twice gunfire

that seemed a safe distance away.

On clear days the ocean

a distant glint of sunlight through the trees.

from Poetry Northwest 09.2 Winter & Spring 2015More by Brian Satrom from the library

Copyright © Brian Satrom
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.