mad mine entrance 1972: our monsters 
welcome all visitors 	now playland 
at the beach is rubble 		gingham
skirts afloat in sea caves

your city built a bridge from ports
just to cross another bridge 	your city 
swinging fists of rolled quarters 
throbs on a bed of vengeful serpents

glass tower over stark columns 
capped with grass mat roofs 	you 
put palm to pane like a child first 
viewing imprisoned gorillas 	sure

they can break it and so they should 
deep in the center of sporadics 
curious ghosts surround a lived-in mazda
don’t be a target 	shore ruins

mope another day hidden in cliff house 
old hotel shell 		have you inch of soul 
to spare 	to think the dead don’t plot 
to re-emerge you’d be mistaken

legion of honor offers holocaust roleplay 
golden gate golfers dodge crumbled crypts 
as if decay is a leisurely game 
your skin a casual erosion 	oro en paz 

fierro en guerra gilded temple 
curves the oakland hill above bay
how panopticons pillow phantom ships 
usher hemorrhage into ash

— Originally from Monterey, AJ Urquidi (he/him) is an ace Southern California writer whose work has been featured in Faultline, Posit, and Chiron Review, among others. He is copydesk chief for Los Angeles Review of Books and an executive editor of experimental online journal indicia.

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