To the Increasingly Less Invisible Los Angeles River 

Dear Los Angeles River,

Snaking, Sprawling, Concrete, White-hot, Invisible, 
The Last Spacious and Wide Open, Untouched Frontier of Los Angeles.
Empty. Almost Alone. Luxurious. 
Deep concrete basin with three open sides like a reflective tanning mirror.

What are they doing to you? 
Tearing up your concrete in places,
Taking down your fences. 
Planting all this green space; 
Marshland
Parklets?
I’m so sorry.
I’m here for you, 
trudging through one of the last of your concrete sections
water low 
For, perhaps, the last time
before waters rise again, 
Wild peacocks and colorful parrots chatter,
and rainbow trout for tourist fishers swim. 
Oh these nasty things! 
Infiltrating your toxic wasteland,
your concrete playground,
abandoned by all 
except by us, abandoned ones.

Those sleeping in the rafters right now 
who came to you for shelter
Those sitting on the basin edge 
escaping their crowded old homes 
monitored by pesky wives 
to drink 6 packs of Tecate. 
Those high schoolers up there 
skipping class to smoke weed in the safety of your wings.

Soon this place will be covered in white children 
pointing out the long necked and dainty birds.
Laughing gracefully by their parents,
pushing strollers on small concrete pathways, 
surrounded by green things,
talking on cell phones.

They’ll build high rises and start kayak tours and we’ll disappear. 
Living things will thrive here like it’s Huntington Garden. 
(Except us living things already here.)
Perhaps we’re not even alive after all. 
But what’ll happen to us without our comfortable purgatory?

Or even us. 
Those who come here to sit in your dry hot basin and smoke cigarettes.
Those escaping 
the suffocating dampness of that Malibu paradise, 
to ponder on the industrial beast, 
reading Karl Marx. 
We love to look out 
over your hazy gray horizon with disgust. 
You are us. 
So what will we do without you to blame?

I love you, my dying beast,
Grieving Los Angelite.

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