Dad always grew tomatoes They were his pride and joy So when the lady outside Home Depot Offered me the box and said, ‘Do you have a garden?’ I didn’t say no, though I should have I said, ‘We have a theatre…’ And somehow that was just as good.
It grows like a weed in Hollywood In the cracks between Film and Industry It was a grease monkey’s garage, then a shooting range But only now Can we call the people who run it clowns. We put the tomatoes out On the air conditioning supply unit To try to add some poetry to that phrase.
Today is tomatoes in the parking lot Tomorrow is white roof, filtered water, solar panels, cycle racks, urban garden, green building, public plaza, artist’s village To build a cultural heritage for the city I once heard described as ‘Hell’s parking lot’ Tomato by tomato Because nobody dreams as hard as poets And nobody works as hard as clowns.
They are all here, generations of elder queers with crooked hands like trees. I shake my whole self at the giant’s trunk. The forest glistens. A world built on invisible shimmers suddenly in the light.
If only the roots could see the budding sky.
If only I could garden my history so deep.
This is strength. This is pride. To be burned, emptied. To stand tall, anyway, play host to new branches, fresh green, a forest with a single root system.