Fall 2008, Volume 5

Poetry by Rebecca Rodriguez

Christmas, San Francisco

December 2003, I spent a week in San Francisco
Visiting a friend
And we sipped coffee, crunched caramels, and crashed house parties
Until nights had become wretched blurs
Too many nights like these and the mind entangles
Like a cat's cradle in abusive hands

There I was, taut and tight like a string
Trying to find dinner for less than seven dollars
Somewhere up on Haight
The night was wet, streets slick,
Voices crashing like pennies on the sodden sidewalk

I stared into a window at my reflection
Trying to calm the nest of my hair and catch my breath
When I saw you
Standing on stage like Jesus and
Singing a song only those inside heard
Stealing melodies off the bass and wrenching slaps from the drums
Snaring eyes and tongues 'till you were Emperor of the night
Pilfering from Time 'cause he ain't that great anyway
So you had us
Blue candles, heavy air, and clinking glasses
Glistening sweat and sopping shirts
Making me jealous with sweet messages only the chosen could hear.

BIO:  Rebecca attends Long Beach City College. Along with taking creative writing classes, she plans to get her degree in Dance. She also works with the Long Beach Shakespeare Company and continues to shake her fist at the "system."