There was no way I could boil and
drink yesterday's espresso, or move
the olive tree to the ridge, or make
the sky forever purple, or perch in the
trees with the sparrows and blue jays.
There was no way I could forget
how you aimed the car toward the
cliff when I was fourteen because
you were having one of the many rages.
There were wars all over the world
on the day of my eighteenth birthday
when my car broke down in Carmel.
I tried to look older with Max Factor,
as I waited by the beach smelling the
sand and the spray of foam from
old fishing boats.
There was never a way I could cut
the fire from my mouth and replace
it with a handful of lilies and roses.
I'll just stay here among the
California oranges and sparrows,
listening to their infinitesimal
red and brown stripped lives and
occasionally, a hummingbird.