you know you're in california
when the girls cry big grey tears
and the obsidian storefronts
reflect dollhouses and toy cars
decorated with tinsel smiles.

you know he won't call because
he's too busy digging under
concrete for gold and feathers,
lacquered days left behind for
this new romance; you know
she won't notice because curses
never travel pass county lines
and her tragedy is a flat tire.

and you can walk down the
boulevards at sunset or watch
the sky choke on morning dew,
watch beauty walk by a pegleg
and throw him stained quarters -

washington might have frowned
upon these skyscraper palms
and this streamlined history,
but he cannot deny that this is
where the sun goes on holiday.

he'll be chasing his treasures from
soft, smooth hilltops while she buys
postcards of her own hometown.
you are parked on the shoreline
with no further aspirations, and
you know you're in california
because all the signs are right.