San Francisco 2010

Almost everyone is very merry in the summer chill,
running and biking as if they were fleeing a sudden tsunami.
No one is sitting still except for toothless souls, wrapped in tattered
garments, writhing next to heated transoms on cardboard bedding,
with newspapers over rheumy eyes.

No one can tell if they’re dead or belong in a hospital bed.
AWOL from life, living in dread, prisoners without manacles
gather in clusters, swapping cigarettes, and booze like hoboes
who rode the rails in the Great Depression.

Why anyone would live in New Jersey when they could move to sunny
San Francisco? Everyone’s from somewhere else and you can breathe
clean air of the Toyota Prius and zero emission trolly cars.

Watching the horrific opera, a quest for ecstatic enthrallment
on Castro Street, same sex lovers hold hands, smiling
and euphoric. Everyone’s in heat. For some, the relationship
consists in discussing it exists.

It’s a 24 hour Dionysian carnival, where folks are proud to be amuric’n,
satorially crunk, dominatrixes at Night Of Sin celebrate Fetish Night
with S and M Sunday that hurts so good before heading for the Eden
of Red Rock Beach to show off their pecs, naked as fish.

Victorian homes abound, with overgrown wisteria , red hibiscus
and say NO to Prop 8 in windows, with blinded eyes for Meg Whitman
and Obama peering down brandishing a sign of HOPE.

Little dogs are omnipresent as friends sip wine and dine,
discussing penis-centered art and breast augmentation at outdoor
cafes as if they were in Paris or Prague. Restaurants warn toilets
are for customers only.

San Francisco here I come, where folks are free to do their thing.
The rest of the country has a lot of catching up to do before
learning how to bask in the mirth under the magnificence of
the Golden Gate Bridge, marred only by the occasional jumper.

Milton P. Ehrlich