Passing Through the Heart from: San José Song

by Robbie Sugg

Passing through the heart
of town, the swollen
Guadalupe River

Simply breathing this
wet air, I am stoned
beyond description

Valley oaks I never
noticed on the median
under the 280 overpass

The old pueblo
coughs up shards of China
bowls bricks and bottles

Guan Yin was bald and brownskinned
wrapped in a Navajo blanket
at the crossroads

of San Fernando
and Market Street
This year the late rains

Winter came with Spring
the creeks heavy with seep
and persistent cherry blossoms

Funny they never
named Coyote Creek
after a saint

El Camino changed course
to accommodate squares while
the river abides its path
Floodbanks altered
soil compacted for houses
on the high water table

Passing through the heart
of town, the swollen
Guadalupe River