Karen An-hwei Lee

On Runaway Angels in the Haight


Why do our tourists in San Francisco utter Ashbury with a Z,
xxxxxrhyming with raspberry, blind to Haight as a homophone
for hate, mispronounced the height. Runaways, rail-thin girls
razor crystalline rays of toxic ardor, pipes of ultraviolet haze
on North Beach, venom of urban wilderness. Desire
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxprophesies to young fugitive women –
Love yourselves. If you refuse to love
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxlabor at least love yourselves. You are
all you have in this intravenous world
xxxxxxxxxxxxxand God is more obvious than the maw
of this post-machine age
xxxxxxor a bruise-lipped tattoo on your chin
if you look.


Karen An-hwei Lee