Poetry & Prose

Hollywood, Christmas, 2021


The flower shop on the corner of Franklin and Western closed—
permanently, that is.
It must’ve been recently—
certainly while I was away.

Its awning has been tagged many times over.
The sign is all black now.
It must’ve happened not too long ago
because the bricks that once composed the side wall
lie beneath what is now
a gaping hole in the world.
No one has recovered them
since they sustained that fatal punch.
They sleep scattered
and the flowers are gone.

The bricks all scattered,
the flowers gone,
the day fades against the mountains
as the valley holds golden.

The valley is only golden from afar.
It sure is pretty around 4:30 p.m. this time of year;
from up this high, that is.

The valley is golden
and the mountains behind it a reddish-lavender,
laced among a long mauve cloud,
the middle peaks peeking in front.

Poesy wanders to the windowsill.
She graces the trim
with her graying chin
and nods her approval skyward.
She’s too hungry to care.
Someone will feed her around now.

Distant chatter
about the whereabouts of the cat—
under the bed upstairs—
as the door was left cracked
and he stays inside.

If the shop was open I would’ve picked up some tulips or sunflowers.
I only decided this upon discovering the hole in its side
through which I saw bricks and bricks and no flowers at all;
I only decided this once I knew I couldn’t.
I hate thinking that way.