san gabriel, a poem

The streets are avenues of eyeballs,

dips, dives and detours divert my path,

a Ford Focus halfway out the driveway in front of me,

the garbage truck polluting the air around me

while we wait for the light,

sections of sidewalk,

sections without,

a bike lane here,

but not there,

the little girl staring at me from the back seat

and the trashcan next to the telephone pole

leaving a sliver of sidewalk

I'm too uncoordinated to navigate,

and worst of all,

the wind is blocked by vehicles and suburban living.


A treacherous road, I keep pedaling

in hopes of reaching

my el dorado,

my eight fold path,

my restored eden.


Where cars are defined as trespassers,

the wind blows like the spirit,

going where it goes,

an elderly man flies a kite up above us,

a pair of mormons journey to the next territory,

and rebellious teenagers practice popping wheelies

on their dirt bikes and ATVs,

the homeless' real estate,

mobile homes popped up under concrete bridges,

no traffic lights, street signs or any type

of halting measure for my transportation,

the oil refinery is bustling with noises

coming from procedures I'm clueless to,

a plane lowers its altitude as I imagine

the pilot putting the seatbelt light on

in preparation for landing,

the water rises while I close

the distance between my wheels and the sand,

the vegetation now towering and spreading

in abundance,

lizards scuttle across the path and

squirrels hop in and out of the grass like dolphins.


I peddle through the riverbed

breathing at ease,

for this is the home of many,

where freedom is cherished

and the road is open like an invitation.

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