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The Angels,
your song whispers softly
as the ships glide into San Pedro
where the cocaine that was packing-crate smuggled
is transferred to the trunk
of a white Cadillac which soon
is driving down the Harbor Freeway
while the news choppers whir overhead
in their beelike quest for another wreck
blooming in flame and blood on the shoulder
of Sepulveda Pass, where the monorail
whisks the effete, their bourgeois bellies
starbucks-full, to the Getty where they stand
above cacti and gaze down the 405
to the sea, where the seagulls rise
toward the Santa Monica Mountains
and Malibu Creek, where night never falls
even deep in the gulches because
the city never sleeps—there is always the glow
of the lights on Ventura, which never extinguish—
they endlessly burn, like the flame on the hills
in November—Fire Season—when residents flee
from their chaparral dreams and pray
for the rains, that will come (barring drought)
and wash down the stilt-homes
in the Malibu hills, flooding PCH
to a standstill, each sig alert, like the trough
of a wave down a slinky, ripples
through concrete arteries
till droop-faced commuters clench their fists
in sullen acquiescence, and onward drive
toward winking red eyes, their only companion
the twitter of talkshow, banal contrivance
purporting “discussion” of latest election, importance of
Metro Rail, or why whores on Sunset
are not libertarian, and perhaps if they’re lucky
they spot the glaze at Chavez
and remember hazy twilight
when they played catch with Carl
on green lawns in Reseda
down the road from the Mall
where the valley girls shopped
for silver earrings (made in China)
that were pried from the crates
forklifted from the holds of the boats in San Pedro
as their wakes drifted out toward Santa Catalina
where the Hollywood buffalo roam
on the hills above Emerald Bay
and hear the song of the Angels
in the sulfur-soaked wind.

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