The Arrival

May 1, 2005

A flood of cities overwhelms

our whelping scarves. O ingenue of distance,

we shall infuse Pasadena

with vernacular after vernacular. Airports meant

for athletes to dive off of are human ports

stunned in avowal.

Trucked along cold coast upon golden coast,

we are the grand luggage of strawberries

juggled through meridians, makings

beyond the Pacific undertow.

The arc of the mortal flashes its kaleidoscope:

our twists of light do not succumb

to interstates, to smog-stunned horoscopes.

We encounter moon, then moon, then moon

after next. We travel across

a terrain of earthquakes, trace fault lines

down bloodlines, through

ruptures in the glass-riven asphalt.

Our passage distends dawn, a skein of jazz

ravels into chill. Gravestones

endure in sawdust, however swiftly skyscrapers

replace the linings

of lanterns by the sea. Our neurons

muster marvels past every peach-heaviness.

Pasadena is an Indiana of the self.

A hard core rap ballad

marks our ten-hour landing, dishevels

the purest dialect. A guava cake, pensively oval,

greets us in cursive icing.

-Roger Pao