Three Sisters, Los Angeles

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Head to her knees, her back’s to the statue
of Beethoven brooding, his back to yanks
she’s giving her hair, taking the veil

of gray by the fistful in Pershing Square
under a fan palm, skirt of dead fronds
and high-rise beyond.


She on a bench shadowed by the dome
Chaplin cast as Dictator backdrop,
her purple hat cardboard

elastically chinstrapped by the big heads
of Jackie and Mack, the Robinson brothers,
Jackie facing sunrise

looking to Brooklyn, Mack facing her
wailing out Why at first light on Sunday,
Why oh me why sobbed at the sky.


Where Avenue meets Boulevard
she’s at the bus stop under its shelter
hugging a rabbit, faded stuffed pink,

to kiss and to talk to, whisper a nickname
as the bad traffic muffles her chanting
a dollar one dollar a dollar for food