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Fall 2006

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Let the Freeways Speak
Jerry Garcia

Steaming morning dew
rising from faded asphalt.
Smog-tainted freeway buttresses
summon signs of the cross.

From Pomona through East Los Angeles
downtown highways circle groves
of steel girders and glass
that shoot into the skies like Sequoias.

Let the freeways speak.

Black asphalt
buries relics
family hope chests
porches
sidewalks
a father’s fine front lawn.

Two brothers at play
Carlos racing skateboards
Eddy chasing lizards
Eddy and Carlos
practicing pitches and hits
on father’s fine manicured lawn.

Let the freeways speak

Tales of eviction
domicile loses to eminent domain.
Wrecking balls
mounds of demolition sand
broken toilets
splintered pickets.
Eddie and Carlos move to projects
from Boyle Heights
or Chavez Ravine.

Let the freeways speak

Thoroughfares connecting cities
squealing breaks in vaporous nights
Sirens penetrate the boulevards.

Let the freeways speak

Carlos crossing the great highway.
Racing with vanity, finding prosperity,
practicing law for the wealthy.
He’s riding destiny’s limousine.

Eddie skulking shadows
hunting dark alley lizards
shooting his only livelihood
into a well worn arm.

Let the freeways speak

Too wide to get around
On-ramp traffic crowds the land
where Eddy once struck out Carlos
on father’s fine lawn.

Eddy heaving heavy loads
and steam-pressing prison laundry
while Carlos entertains his muses in Greece.

Let the freeways speak

Lane-dividing phosphorescent buttons singing the chorus
of a 20th century Greek tragedy.

Two brothers lost to progress.

Let the freeways speak