October in Hayward

(somewhat of an imitation of April in San José by Ursula La Guin)

In a city where men shout across the streets

Bruh Bruh     Is this your car?     SHUT UP!

patrolling the neighborhood like cops

prepared with secrets in their front pockets

to defend the corner with their bare hands

to claim dominion over the whole block

in blue jeans and t-shirts and brass knuckles

or hide and wait, patiently, in the darkness,


I am consumed in the mix, the chaos,


through uncut lawns, empty red and white

Budweiser cans in the gutter, leftover gold

bullet shells, crumpled brown paper bags,

mock gray sidewalk and true gray road,

faded garage sale flyers,

scent of pineapple express, purple haze,

couples making out on the corner,

decaying sight of oaks, cars for

sale lining each store side curb.


Through the mockingbird morning

Into the siren illuminated night

I make my way indifferent

in the city of masks worn daily

in the traffic of broken dreams

in the forgotten piece of the Bay Area

in the kaleidoscope of races

in the month exactly like the next.





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