Your name was poor but your car smelled like money.
We kicked off into the bright lights and whizzing lanes of the 10.
Hands on the steering wheel, fingers clenched, you told stories.
I hid my face in my scarf, you lost yours in your ego, we laughed.
West Hollywood, Downtown, circling the city on a scavenger hunt
The chilly air brought us together when conversation separated
Held hands in Culver City, dim orange lights and midnight sky
Smoke from my breath, from the exhaust pipe, cigarettes of hipsters,
You throw your coat over my shoulders; I slid my arm into yours.
The ocean glimmers in Santa Monica, Malibu hums as it dozes.
You kiss and bid me goodbye. In time, we gentrified from each other
Our bodies separated by districts and three million neighbors.
In San Gabriel, the nights are too warm, the sidewalks too empty.
I whisper the syllables of your name, and on Pasadena Main Street
Your ghost dances with me from streetlight to streetlight.
This poem is included in The Sophomore Year Experience poetry compilation.