"Los Angeles" is the second song of Mark Abel's song cycle The Palm Trees are Restless, which sets the poetry of Kate Gale.
by Kate Gale
Los Angeles people look right through you,
see little ghosts with no shape or color.
Money gives a body form like a straitjacket
holding you against wind, pestilence.
You are shadow against dusk. Cream against pale.
All colors not cream become sunshine.
I have stood in the sill of time counting my days, the cups full of cries
and laughter, paint and words, silence and tea equal nothing here.
Los Angeles, once a desert glitters green
The green holds you up against the sky. Gives you shadow.
That shadow casts longing across beaches and highways.
As morning opens, you see hands stretching out for a piece.
The palm trees are restless. Your silhouette an outline.
Light streams across you, you are nothing.
You must be thin to cast a shadow. You must
drive a cool car. You must have blond highlights.
There is no place for silence. I stare in the mirror. Cover my face with my hands.
My hands hold my reflection. In the mirror I see nothing.