I have never truly left anywhere, and the stains a place can leave
good or bad, a deepest black or sweetest pink skies
and on days like this – bitter, coldest, bored autumn days
I long more than anything to move, to be in the hills
on top of a mountain, the sun beating fiercely on dried ground
or on Newport Beach, the slightest chill sending goosebumps
but not like this, not blue fingers and bright red cheeks
I long for cheerful breeze, the cool relief of Long Beach harbour
and though I am grateful still to have left my black town
the one that imprinted me, made me this cold
that I long still for 45 degrees, the desert’s blister at a gas station


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