hernandez told me she never walked down westcliff during a sunrise, so i offered to take her there before we graduated

i said “dude this is important,” and we opened another box of sierra nevada

we talked late into the bloating night, our eyes wide as dinner plates shook nervously around the room scanning for cops out by the window or demons in the kitchen cabinets

our methamphetamine cityscapes held elections every hour, but each voting subject had been incarcerated years ago under a code of law that valued orderly security over beauty

hernandez told me she never walked down empire grade during a sunrise, so i offered to take her there before we graduated

the night matured or ripened, we slipped into our mud-caked boots, tied each others laces, and walked back out into the rain. our jackets swelled with obscene paraphernalia, flyers for poetry readings and twelve step events, pocket-sized allen ginsberg poetry collections, granules of dust that may as well have been curses or better yet miracles

hernandez told me she never walked down hagar during a sunrise, but i gave her many grave reasons why she shouldnt and i showed her various scars and steeply graded canals on my cheeks from decades of tear erosion. i did not offer to take her there before we graduated

and why was it that we located our place in the world along these cesspool avenues of exalted beauty and reticent enlightenment? could the world have done without santa cruz the same way the converse happens every day on a much more subtle scale?

we walked down bay street to the 7-eleven and saw our dealer parked in front of the jewish community center

he was sitting outside of their entrance door smoking cigarettes, spitting at the ground, laughing and arguing to someone that could have perhaps been on the phone—he was the impossible deity of an exuberant faith: the halo around his head was made of nothing but the blackness that boils under the lives of our stuttering loved ones as they see us fuck up possibly every moment in slow motion taped over the old vhs recordings of celebrations and

we walked up to him with our muddy boots that were full of ideas of graduations and lovely engagements we looked at his face pale like dead milk or better yet like perverse miracles

he asked us what it was, exactly, that we needed this fine beautiful dawn, oh just look at the sunrise you two, im so happy to be out here in northern california where it seems like everything is bursting with life, does it not