The Dumbarton Bridge begins with fetid life and ends in Zuckerburg's hollowed-out castle--
the sharp lines and primary colors of a tantrum.
The San Mateo Bridge begins with a ramp into the heavens,
welcoming all motor vehicles to the same celestial kingdom,
then proceeds to descend into the bay, leaving passengers eye-level with the sea birds collecting on floating lampposts--
funneling traffic through the waves back to the baffled freeway.
On the weekends we followed the road from our apartment until it stopped-- dead-ended at a nature reserve.
The salt marshes were littered with the worn posts of wooden structures,
caked in white,
offered with penance to the birds whose long beaks needled the shoreline...
The remains of pools in candy-colored reds and pinks,
the rust-colored scrub that looked like coral springing from the corners of the pathways
that lined cracking beds of arid, once-was, soupy water.
We have something that works.
It's such a small thing,
but like a tiny music box that still plays a tune you can recognize,
It's just my palm pressing into yours.
I'll keep doing it as long as it cranks out those same notes.
In my dreams, I drive right off the St. Thomas Bridge into the ocean
All the twinkly lights tell me I shouldn't have
Oh how I 'shouldn't have'
and a song plays in my head that says "Oh how you've grown."
I can't sleep because everything is on fire. I look outside, and there it is- the fire. I turn on the TV, fire. It's in my lungs and clinging to my clothing. It's stinging my eyes and giving me a headache.
It's been dark tonight but now the light has started creeping through the windows to remind me, everything has to continue. I have to go to school. My husband has to go to work.
I want to get in my car and drive somewhere that the smoke hasn't touched yet. But it's everywhere. It's to my left and right, it's up and down, closeup and at a distance.
I want to yell "Fire!" but no one will let me. I want to escape but no one will show me the exits. I'm tired of watching everything burn away and smolder and ache and choke and wheeze.
Vitamin D. Prenatal vitamins. Gauze. Paper-tape. Pregnancy tests. Ghirardelli square wrappers. Anti-septic. Band-aids. Small strips of paper towels. Anti-biotic wound care. Disposable masks.
My nerves are showing up in the cracking of my skin, in my eyebrows, between my eyes, and down my nose.
My hair's growth is stunted by my sporadic picking at the ends.
Now is not a good time. Now is the only time. Now is the worst time. Now is the best time.
I have never seen vultures before, until now. There they were, seven of them. One low circling and the other six huddled around a raccoon on the side of the off-ramp. It was just like a cartoon, I thought.
Vultures aren't really dangerous, I told myself as I weaved the car around the gang. Technically, they are nature's garbagemen.
Still, there is something unsettling about them all the same. Their turkey necks. Their large bodies. The pulling of sinew from carrion.
But most of all the concept that they lie in wait for death, inevitable, with terrifying patience.
She looked at me in a skeptical way and talked about what it means to be a vessel.
She offered some next steps, some sage advice.
But maybe I'm just the soil in champagne France, I thought, all chalk-full of clay.
Maybe the best most renowned bubbly celebrations come from this scraggly old vine.
What do you know? As I pawed at my stomach and breast.
Things still grow in the desert, they just aren't the things you like.
"So fruits and vegetables then?"
"Less fruit than you would think actually."