Sandra Beasley reads

Love Poem for Los Angeles

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Two hundred years ago, we set out west one
oath at a time, a long game of Telephone: You

are our strangest echo, the promise of Great American
Self-Storage. Los Angeles, I love your red-and-white

strip joints, your car dealerships, your Bob Hope Hall
of Patriotism. I love the graze of your fingernails,

your slow sparklers of palm trees, your buildings silver
and inscrutable, this constant haze as if a battle just

ended and your bloodied asking Did we win? Did we win?
Los Angeles, take off your sunglasses, roll your window

down; I like it when you let your hair whip into knots.
Los Angeles, even your salads glisten with fish and

though I know you dream of living forever, cancer
looks good on you. Los Angeles, I love the ways

you misunderstand me: Jew for blue, erosion for ocean.
I am rushing your Russians, I am cold for your gold.

When I tell you I’m married, all you say is I do.
When I say Don’t get hurt you hear Flirt harder.