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The Tower District
A few storefronts - some of them abandoned,
signs that look like they're from the fifties
when neon was fashionable.
The kind of territory where
the American Pickers could spend
a weekend and a couple of extra hours.
The kind of place where you step into
an antique store without stepping into a shop.
Cobblestone like streets without the cobblestones.
Traffic lights where there is no traffic.
Alleys going into no where lined
with weeds and plants in pots.
A genuine garden of earthly delights with
a couple of oil stains thrown in for good measure.
Today there was a bit of rain
and music from a bakery where
they once spoke English fluently.
Arty fences painted to look like walls
and walls that looked like
you could walk into them with
a selection of movie stars
from a time when they really made movies
I saw a woman cleaning off shelves today
and a man came up to me and said nothing
but looked at the window I was looking at.
She seemed pretty fierce and the
petrulli oil she was wearing filled
the atmosphere like a sauna bath
when all one really needed was a faucet -
soap is (of course) optional.
Eye of newt, frog legs and cards
with pictures of upside down people wearing colorful hats
waited inside behind silver elephants
and handkerchiefs folded like steeples.
An empty theater facade
a sign made out of cards,
a dilapidated and dingy canvas.
A restaurant that sounded like a fountain
Pizza connoisseurs leaving their specimens behind.
Notary booksellers, bankers.
More plants in pots and along the wall.
Such delicious cuisine is never seen in magazines.
Better Homes and Gardens, are on their way.
Alaska has nothing on you Tower.
Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and are just distant places.
Landlocked, a population seeking fresh air.
Hoagies from New York. Clocks. A theater spire,
a few thousand feet from touching the sky.
My little piece of California,
the ocean water fronts
the tropical islands or the midnight sun.
My Fresno in the winter rains.
My little square inch of paradise.