The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®

 

Lisa Rosenberg

Left Coast Triptych

1.
In a dusk of lavenders,
the crescent
of an incomplete overpass
on three dark pillars
of concrete.
The space between

admits the sintered lights
of Los Angeles,
cataclysmic downtown.
This could become
our Stonehenge,
a future ruin

as mute or fertile
as the pieces of Rome.
Gigantic ornament,
brocade of belts,
the interweaving
cloverleaves.



2.
No ramparts.
Just the transverse ranges
and coastal cliffs.
No stone chateaux
to predate remnants
of clay presidios.

What possible
likeness in Venice?
Abandoned canals
fraught with light
below the streets’
white noise.

Lone obelisk
of a graffiti’d lamppost.
And long monuments
in rock-bed, shifting
like the fictions
that claim us.



3.
We rest in the shade
of imported flora.
The sky is a speechless,
sun-struck god
and all our languages
to praise it are foreign.

The angels’ city
overflows into valleys
named for saints.
A renaissance novel
promised griffins
and gold: an island

to the right hand
of the Indies,
where a Queen Califía
sang to her tribes
before horses,
highways or mines.

 

 

 

LISA ROSENBERG holds degrees in Physics and Creative Writing, and received a Wallace Stegner Fellowship in Poetry from Stanford University. Her writing has appeared in venues as diverse as Witness, POETRY, and Semiconductor International. A recovering engineer, she founded an independent marketing consulting practice, and is currently a homeschooling parent.

 

 

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