Parked the car up the street from the 99-Cent Store.
It's always such a joy to park the car.
Walked down Sunset and stepped into antique stores,
then through a hip accessories place to a gallery in the back
Full of chandeliers out of gummi bears and
affordable artwork I couldn't afford.
Still, I wanted to look on this rare day
of just enjoying the day.
Found a box of handpainted notecards--
wild, childlike things, bright and comic
and just in the budget.
On up the street past Millie's and Madame Matisse
and the cellphones and fauxhawks,
the strutting Latino with the day's first foamy beer.
Into, for kicks, the Silver Lake Cheese Shop.
A gruffly pleasant gray-haired clerk cuts
a parmesean stand-in for Jeffrey, and
who knew those Chimay monks made cheese, too?
He'll like that.
Back through the slight chill, the warming spring.
There are times when I love this city, like now,
walking through my favorite neighborhood,
anticipating the summer, the Sunset Junction.
I pass a growing skeleton
of upscale lofts and pray
its coming flesh and flab
won't ruin all this.
Finally back to the car.
The pungent cheese saturates
the stale, stuffy air.
I roll down windows,
adjust the volume of the CD player
and speed past all this.