San Pedro St., L.A.
Today you’d pack an iPod & a gig of rap down San Pedro Street.
That’s if you wear Sureño’s blue. It’s a long, long way to go to four p.m.,
where your Momma’s over the kitchen sink, your Pop mutters
behind The Daily News, as it grows dark, when you pedaled free
down San Pedro Street. Your Red Ryder chaps, a new five-dollar
trike, a suede-hat cinching your chin, a grin of glee, a pot-metal
pistol flapping on your thigh––they didn’t know you roamed
make-believe trails on San Pedro Street. A throb came up your
booted feet through pedals’ whirligig. A bullhorn above a record
store mewled, I’d rather have a paper doll. Deep, man-voices muddled
how things may truly be. How true is paper anyway? Could men
love dolls of paper? Or maybe it’s one of those isn’t-really-sos-
but-what-seems-to-be, like wheeling down a cowboy trail
on San Pedro Street. Down San Pedro Street you need a swagger
now, & don’t forget the khakis belted high with baggy thighs,
do-rag, & a tattoo or two. Back then no low-riders, but dark,
top-heavy cars chugged by in the glass, tail-lights sprayed a lipsticky
tinge that came off the panes & stuck on people passing by––
strangers in hats & scarves bobbed in glaze, bobbed into what
darkened behind, where distance to the kitchen & beyond
grew further. Beyond ever pedaling along San Pedro Street.