The T u g

from city lights and stage makeup
from hardly any stars at night
from sunshine and Santa Anna winds
and fans on in February

from tamales and Christian obligations
from marley burns and foot calluses
from yelling and screaming and
being scolded for not appealing to my grandmother's taste in wearing
open-toed shoes
like the princess they expected me to be—

to counting on the Little Dipper
to less reflective buildings
to the two of us being
the two of us

to trees
to trees
to trees
to trees

to something when we felt alone.

Not as a price,
not better
not worse.
There are trees in both places,
collecting exhales.

Inhale. They said it was an adventure.
They said we would find ourselves.
They said, "oh, how great for you both,
to get out of this town
to get out of your comfort zone."

I hadn't thought I was adventurous.

Perhaps I wasn't;
there are trees in both places.

I still don't wear open-toed shoes.