Villanelle on Los Angeles 1992

She was half his size, but her arm was light years long.
He was straight-backed and strode in never-been-wet boat shoes.
How his soft honey hair jerked when Schoolgirl knocked him down.

Dookie braids escaped gravity on her head made strong
by the verdict of twelve strangers. No change of venue
as her fist to his face broadcast the news light years long.

Our heads bobbed against hazy bus windows all along
the route from Slauson to downtown, but as her fist flew
at McClintock, we all knew that Schoolgirl knocked him down.

The driver whistled low and switched his radio on
as the motor moaned to damns signaling corner coups
that would reveal a city, burn down blocks light years long.

Shopping carts rattled, careened unboxed TVs sidelong.
Out store doors flattened shoeboxes bloomed their grey pulp hues
while men on roofs held rifles ‘cause Schoolgirl knocked him down.

Hair trigger, DUI, orange juice, and truncheon wrong
into law of brick and fire. Oh pyriscence, you cruise,
burn through resins, put a spit-shine on fear light years long.
Kam sa ham ni da. How you like us now? Schoolgirl knocked him down.

Published in Bamboo Ridge #113