Poems from How to Fall in Love in San Diego

How to Fall in Love in San Diego

Eat blackberry brie bites
between two fingers
at a crashed Hilton party
between the harbor
and Convention Center.
Dance to an all-white-
Otis-Redding cover band
in Hawaiian shirts.
Foot it to the dueling piano bar
only after Security checks lanyards.
Give the bartender a large tip
and advice that changes her life.
Flirt with a Swedish accent.
Pretend you’re here
for a wedding
—unless you’re here
for a wedding
—then pretend you’re here
Whisper in a cute brunette’s ear
that her girlfriend is gorgeous,
but hug the doorman.
Learn his name
the way Goldilocks
tastes porridge—gingerly.
Tap three strangers and
ask for the restroom
in a foreign tongue
from perdon,
dónde está el baño?
to have you seen the loo?
Be a noble experiment.
Tell all hostesses Liam sent you.
Ask why they don’t know him.
Text any number in your phone
and change the name to Liam.
Get addresses of the cutest women
and never visit them.
Snag the Uber app.
Ask where the drivers’
pink mustache are.
Tell them you heard
Hillcrest was fun, but
you’d rather drive
to an apartment—
any apartment they have keys to.
Stir gasps in distant rooms,
through every land, on each tongue
Heed cabbies’ command:
Make me forget
we swoon in a desert.

Tinder Profile

I am not a good lover; although, I suggest it
in every love poem is the absence
of a black man face down on pavement:
pimple on his left cheek grazed to hot pink.

How Can You Remain in Love in San Diego?

Today, the screen froze when End Call was pressed.
No feedback, just the illick between fingertip and glass.
We always said goodbye too soon: before a question,
before a right quick, before I love you. Today,
like chill of shadow stroking cheek, was only goodbye.

I sat—right in the grass. Where the hours pulled
themselves onto my lap and asked to be cradled.
Silent as the oval of my mouth when you said
you wanted to be pregnant at a car dealership
during an argument about curly fries & condiments.

What will become of our children? They will suffer
the rough edge of tenderness from another father,
another mother. Your goodbye is an earthquake.
The rest of life aftershocks at the realization: we were
tectonic & unaware with no promise of tremors’ stop.

I am afraid you will remember me as a wooden ladder
or even worse, forget I was. And I’ll remember you
as a disaster. Unable to recall how you swallowed yawns
like milk, the attractiveness of how slow you’d waddle—
so slow I’d miss your step—dust collected on magenta toes.

When we met, we were incredibly far from the desert.
I thought you were too good for me. I didn’t think
you’d speak. You said there’s a delay in my handsomeness.
The ness unsteadily climbed from your tongue to lips.
I watched it fog, pillow in the air—brace a snowflake’s fall.

How to Fall in Love in San Diego

A couple cuddles tongues on the corner of 5th and Market
Their meeting shades sunrays that heat the rain puddle
A man waits to wash his hands in

Not Kissing You

As inconvenient as being
the mother of breeze—
How she must name
each breeze and remember it.

Which one stirs empty chip wrapper
saddling the curb near your sandal?
I rub my cheek to be less conscious of air
untidying the hair on my forearms.

But the slight stutter of your smile—
Glow of November dusk across brow
while trolley brakes against rails in the distance.
Your lips: a strawberry perfectly split open.