Olivera Street
by Ronald Linder

We wanted to walk on the only cobbles in L.A.,
Smell the yellow clay gourds, lacquered chilies,
Get away from a wife and an old lover,
Feel the thud of guitars on our chests,
Eat corn meal and spiced rolled beef,
Like families in the picnic ads…
you felt so good you teased me
into having my fortune told
(as if the rules had room for us) …
she said she could tell I had something to hide,
reading my eyes, or the sweat in my palms,
or looking at you smiling beside me,
but we didn’t care—we’d lost our tickets back
and forgot where we came from—
just two of the hundreds trying
to be for a while like the others.