Area: 498 sq. Miles, Elevation: 233 ft. by Martina Reisz Newberry

Driving out of the valley
stoked on lasting passion
I’ve decided to escape the scorched
roads and sands of Coachella
and go home for a visit
to Los Angles,
where the buildings
stand stalwart and gray, fixed.
Our apartment is there,
just off the ramp,
the apartment we kissed
good by to while we
cleaned it out
same as our hearts.
And there is Sabor y Cultura
Coffee Shop which takes up
half an entire corner
and sends coffee smells
all the way to the bus stop.
Around the neighborhood,
there are spirits coming
and going at the corners
of my eyes.  I’ve come to bother
my city which is constant
and cool—my city, my love—
which is always loyal and then
never loyal, which knows to hold
and then to let go and then
to hold again.  I park
on a side street and bless
the uneven sidewalk.
I want it to know that I am here
and whole not for
the first time.  I smile
at the cement and realize
how crazy I must look, so
I stay silent. The city doesn’t
mind silence.  It listens
when someone has something
to say.  That may not be
me this time.  I’m a lucky
woman.  I knew my own heart
long ago and kept it true,
kept it clear of rancor
and mendacity.  The mountains
to the north are a little smog-bit
this morning, the sun is
making good time toward noon.
The streets in front of Sabor
are tinged with yellow light.
I have not been false to this place,
I have not been false to its pieces,
I have not been false to its lessons
nor have I been false to love.
I have not.


Martina Reisz Newberry’s most recent book is LEARNING BY ROTE (Deerbrook Editions, 2012). She is the author of several books of poetry and a memoir. Martina lives in Hollywood, California with her photographer husband Brian and their best four-legged pal, Charlie T. Cat.