Colin Dodds

Carlsbad, California

It was a foggy night outside San Diego
during the easy days when I rented cars
and saved fast food receipts

The developments all had names like “Harbor Pointe,”
with that extra E, as if they’d been built by the pilgrims,
and not in 1994

Detached homes, minimum security condominiums
and the sadness
of owning everything you touch

The physical world
was obeying our wish,
withering in variety and importance

The car radio said a lawnmower hitting a rock
could shoot the spark
that sets a whole subdivision ablaze

And I watched for the flicker in the streetlights,
for the fatal flaw
in the million dreams come true



Los Angeles, California

The twin nothingnesses
of desert and sea,
force up a city.

A city of traffic, a city of no fixed address,
a city like a probability cloud,
and a dirty one at that.

Among the sterile palms,
even a God so shapeless and atheistic
that you can neither escape nor offend It
gives way to pornography on a cell phone.

The constant traffic across its sprawl of a face
tells us nothing will be major or minor again,
only pleasant or unpleasant.

The city billows and swirls
like the new truth, after God,
after reality.

© Colin Dodds