- Shasta, your monastery
- was built on the wrong mountains;
- the rain rarely falls at your feet
- and begs to cleanse them.
- The prodigal sun always returns too often,
- quick to imbibe Mother’s empathy.
- Shasta, you were distilled in the wrong state.
- Shasta, you didn’t check the forecast,
- and bought a house in the wrong neighborhood.
- Making it big as a lake
- in California is a career choice
- no counselor recommends.
- Shasta, Russian alcoholics in dry counties
- laugh more often than you.
- Shasta, it’s time to move out of mother’s house
- and find another nipple to suck on.
- Californians are modern Egyptians;
- we worship the sun;
- we erect buildings in the desert;
- we don’t pray to the God that you do.
- Shasta, what is the water population in your drought county?
- L.A. gets drunk off your spirit
- and leaves you empty.
- Shasta, you can blame Mulholland
- and the Aqueduct,
- but you must never stop praying,
- and maybe, one day, the sky
- will hear you once again.
- On the Mission Beach Boardwalk,
- my morning jog always
- ends at the same bench, facing
- the ocean. I sit down;
- my heart pumps
- the carbon dioxide breath
- of civilization through me.
- I watch the procession of waves,
- wondering if it’s possible to cleanse
- my skin with polluted water.
- The oceans are sweating,
- but can’t outrun
- the industrial lungs humanity
- is building.
- I get up and approach the waves,
- but they recede
- faster than I can reach them.
David Garyan received his M.A. and M.F.A. from Cal State Long Beach. He has two chapbooks published by Main Street Rag. When he is not writing poetry, you may usually find him on any one of Southern California’s mountains.
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