North Hollywood, CA 91607
ART BY PAOLA RUIZ
for Alfredo G.
Rose-colored boulevards and the endless summer,
Morning sun reflected on the bougainvillea, old movie posters, Marilyn Monroe montage.
You said you were going to study Van Gogh next semester at Valley College.
Seven-year-old girl from Chile accidentally shot by police in a mall nearby,
Breakfast from the Armenian supermarket, Jewish monks passing the street.
Taking a bus that goes through Beverly Hills to the seaside of Santa Monica,
I scattered my past into pieces, buried them on the beach,
and then lay on a bench in Ocean Park.
We biked to the supermarket, but your tire went flat, so we had to walk back.
“Bring your love to America, we need more love here,”
I heard you say to my 17-year-old self.
I watched the day break and the sun set, endless freeways running through heaven,
And I remembered your face teeming with tears,
when you cooked dinner and bid me farewell.
America, with dreams I once sought for you.