South San Francisco

How I will remember you:

The fog. The junk mail. The bottle-brush bushes.
The whiteboard that only lied flat on cold days.
The crows that woke me up in the morning
(and made me wish that I had a gun).

The old guard who waved me in with a grin
every night, as I passed through the gate.
Then the new guard who didn't smile,
and who wanted to see my ID.

The homeless woman wrapped in garbage bags,
talking to herself in a high-pitched voice,
moving a shopping cart from here
to there, and then back again.

How the yellow hills turned green only in winter.
How it was never warm enough to sit down.
How the bike trail cowered and crawled
under the tentacles of the highway.

Long minutes waiting for pedestrian lights.
Riding my bike against 30-mph wind.
Coming home to a queen-size bed
and nobody to share it with me.

Uncomfortable red-eye flights to Long Island.
Dreaming about people I didn't get to know.
Moving on to the next temporary place
in a long string of temporary places.