Nearly all my friends call me spoiled and ungrateful.
But what do they know of endlessness? In Los Angeles
it is as though someone has copy-pasted the same
morning over and over and over and over and over
three-hundred-and-sixty-five fucking mornings
in a row. I wake to the same sun and stucco and slate
blue sky. If sunlight is the best disinfectant
why do seasonal birds migrated for winter choose
my patch of sidewalk to die on? There’s no dignity
in the corpse left lying to collect sand and Snickers
wrappers in its feathers. Where I’m from, storm
clouds and cold span entire seasons. Our sun is
an incandescent bulb that does nothing to keep us
warm. We smother its glow when we want to
feel our shadows, elastic. Here, I get tired
just looking at the agave outside my window.
How it holds its shape. How it’s never allowed
to wilt. Some days I draw the bathroom blinds
and stand beneath my shower, pretending rain,
but even I can’t resist wandering outside, again,
passing, again, the turnstiles of my life, its sharp
and spiteful gardens, my face craned up for a light
that promises and promises and promises.
Copyright © 2023 by Perry Janes. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 25, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.