the behavior of cement

1. mango
dripping down my wrists
thick orangeyellow juice
while i bite down
into the paisley shaped pit

2. front hallway
your back against the white wall
blue white red threads
of your flannel shirt
carry in cool air
my nose to your skin
taking in two smells
two smells:
mission fog
meets vetiverspruce oils
warmed
on your skin

3. i’m triple fixed
she says
over kitchen morning coffee
triple trouble
she clarifies

4. joolie and i
discover
besides being two scorpios
we also share
our rising sign

5. church bells
carried across mission air at noon
while i marvel at the behavior
of cement
and how it dictates
that those who lay it
sometimes work 12 hours a day

6. and then
there’s the part
about how san francisco
whose buildings are constructed
mostly of wood
is a tinder box
complete
with joolie’s hand motions
and sound effects

7. a long time ago
you told me you were going to teach me
about porchstoop sitting
in providence, rhode island
but i’ve figured it out myself
here
at the top of the tall narrow steps
at 2621 bryant
where each person passing
is a vignette
a whole tinyhuge story
transported in their bones
a whole giganticminiscule moment
captured
as an 80year old man with brown paper bag clutched in his hand
that reads re-use and recycle
in blue on brown
heads east
crossing paths
with an early-30-something year old man
talking into his cell phone
khaki pants
short sleeves
a story of age
spilled out
in their passing

8. taking photos
of the pigeons’ home
inside the mission street theater marquees
and a few blocks later
i tell you
that i would be able to identify mission  street
in  a photo
that only shows bubblegum stained blue and red tiles
any day
in  a minute or less

9. somewhere along 24th
between bryant and valencia
arm in arm
we both overhear the man say
i gave my dog a facial…


…with blueberries

10. alleywalking
between mission and bryant
first we discover the datura
and then
vines and vines of bouganvillas
whose name
we only learn later
in joolie’s front room