Stepping out of LAX
The breeze pecks your skin
Mismatched pavement prickled by potholes carpet magnificent mini malls
Ugly urban sprawl becomes a soft bear hug.
Wrapped in tinfoil and paper plates.
Inhaling the air again.
The scent of exhaust, cloudy perfumes, dirt, smog and sunscreen.
Smooth tile and bubbling concrete steam behind icy infinity pools
As soon as you step off the plane you're home
And it’s so hot it gleams and smokes.
Sunset strides down Spanish boulevards
Harsh scarlet eyes survey
The infinite palm tree.
The impeccable parking lot.
Waiting in line to meet the city.
Folding tables contain Angleno DNA within
Vats of bubbly avocado and sultry chile.
Shattered onions are crisp like the pacific.
Cilantro gleams like Griffith.
When I reach the front of the line,
When I spurt my broken Spanish,
When my skin touches the cheap paper and tinfoil,
When tortillas scald my skin and spice splices my tongue,
When withheld Carnitas, crisp and drip with fat fill my mouth
When I throw my head back in glee to see the mustard moon
I’m back in Los Angeles’ sweet embrace