Poetry 2

Arose Tattoo Parlor at the Corner of Vine and Dementia

—Mary Magagna

—Maxm Hopman

Ode to Leona Canyon

I leave my apartment and cross the street
where wild turkeys flaunt a purplish-black sheen,
in a canyon where coyotes tease off-leash dogs to oblivion—
former habitat of the Jalquin/Irquin tribe, members of the Ohlone,
once a resort in the Oakland hills where men mined a yellow gold, sulfur—
a place surrounded by buckeye trees that light the sky in spring
with candelabras of white blossoms and where I have watched sword ferns
duel with horsetails for seniority and lose every time, places
where I have paused to converse with a bay that bends its leaves
across the stream to caress the top of my head, where
dog-walkers and their charges stop along the trail to swap stories—
Leona Canyon, through every season I have watched you change,
how eucalyptus leaves descend to create a numbered crunching of the years,
the way song sparrows balance on dried stalks of anise, and
how your creek used to fill up with water like a surprised young girl’s laughter—
but today there are no cars in the parking lot. We’re all in a drought.
I imagine there’s no need to observe proper mask etiquette, climb
to the first, second, and finally reach the third wooden bench, sit
and pray to any god that will listen.

—Lenore Weiss

—Andy Li