Weird how I came here
because the books that I read
said the city’s toxicity
exsanguinates hope dead

odd that i chose my domicile on the principle
that the prettiest things should
cause or decorate a funeral

purple lilacs are a little bit tame
though they die faster than jacaranda
which I made my name
dancing on Kapiolani
where skin was the scene
till I screamed in the ER
also named after the queen

peculiar to carry
blank bags through squalor
meditative breathing
through my last one dollar

sunsets elsewhere were the purple and blue
of the oceans, wild orchids
and bruises I knew
Santa Ana blows in night
orange and red
people in hell live forever
die while you’re ahead

birds of paradise stay stuck in the ground
beach roses let it all out
the way Jesus was crowned

pitched my career
on an ability to feign
so if I came here for drama
well then I can’t complain

Rachel Knight, February 2017

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