Monday, December 27, 2010

Two Poems by Natalie Carpentieri


My California is burning,
and throwing smoke into the air.

It is chasing people from homes
with thick waves of fire
and winds that refuse to relent,
eating away wooden frames
leaving a smoldering, empty foundation.

People in cars speed down highways
behind a wall of black and orange
with no bags packed,
searching for shelter.

My California douses highways and cars
thick forests and beaches
until everything erodes into disarray.

It shakes and thunders,
moves buildings and stadiums,
and everything else that tap dances
dangerously on a volatile fault line.

the heat of the sun in December
and clean, white sand
is nothing like I've ever known.

My California steals pieces of me
cell by cell
breath by breath.
Leaves me hollow and craving.



So many things were sold or given away
for practical reasons, as a move like this
means that you have to let go of everything
that held you tethered to your old life.
You remind yourself that it was only furniture -
a bed, some dressers and assorted things like
lamps and stuffed animals that you don't really need.
It's all dead weight in your car when you're
driving literally across country on the
longest highway in the U.S. and drinking cup after cup
of coffee to make sure that you don't fall asleep.
You want to make it there intact,
even if your heart doesn't.
So when those wheels spin into your Golden State
and the beaches and the bright sun welcome you
with open arms, you feel like it could really be
somewhere you can unpack once and for all.

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