John Koethe

(1945 / San Diego)

Below the Coast

A clumsy hillock
Unmolded like a cake on the meadow
In the Laguna Mountains. Tough yellow-green grass growing up to a tree
As thick as a tooth. In winter, on the road from San Diego,
Thousands of cars crawl up to the snow
And their passengers get out to investigate it
And then drive, discoursing, back home. And that's California,
Solemnly discharging its responsibilities.

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