This is not the Wild West.
This is Southern California, at best
a dusty lawless town with homeless
tumbleweeds clumped clumsily beneath
riverless bridges, a desert of hot mess
boasting corruptible enforcement
to any of the assorted Suns and Posts and
Gazettes. And behind every posse and labor
gang is a well-lit businessman,
undustable, holed up in an office
above the bank, looking off
into the sunset past the one clean thing
in a city of stink: a glowing recommendation
to visit the farm bred or brain dead or
family led lesser beasts back East;
a reminder of what it means to be
addicted to fictions, helpless
against the desire to deliver them
from the clutches of those who claim
they lack no convictions.
Beware those virtuous vixens on the streets
below, they are the infant stage of a creature
whose evolution parallels that of this dusty hell.
Unexpected contact can only earn you
three things: a gut shot with a slow bleed,
a showdown in the papered streets, or
a lonely trek you won’t remember
four hours out into the desert.
Those girls are known for their outlaw ways.
Like a quick shave with a dull blade,
you think it will be over soon,
but I promise you it stings for days.