David Case

Spleen of Ocean Avenue

Brutal evening sun won't let me look
northwest (the best prospect), so I turn
due south, toward someone moving in Chinese.
"See that woman?" a father asks his son.
"She's letting her body take her
to a very safe and comfortable place."
The wind blows twenty feet too high.

What is the business
of that horizon, suggesting
that nothing lies beyond it?
And for once the street's too quiet
to drown out the surf, the deadly surge
taking the spin off the globe.
Black white-trash poodle, Cyrillic
crossword puzzle, teeshirt reading
CAMBODIA, a rose garden nestled
round the bust of a thankfully long-dead
temperance agitator:
Santa Monica has come to this.

The magnate and the trophy wife
draw near, holding hands in perfect faith.
From the woman's face, some thirty years

are missing

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