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"A Change of Perspective from the Rooftops of Los Angeles"

If you say I am hard, then
I am hard;
I was never hard, before.

I was, I have
always been, always
been soft.  Too,
too soft, you'd say.

I suppose I listened.

High, high up in the
cliffs and mountains of the
urban Los Angeles skyline, the
view can be anything.
Anything.  On a
clear day, you can
see the wide ocean.  When it's
hazy, the
world drops off into
endless grey.  The
sun shining on the
rolling, roiling Pacific, or an
impenetrable fortress of
desolate fog.  One
sees what
one can see.

I remember you there, in the sun;
how you hated the sun! You
couldn't see the rainbows in the
sprinkler-head rains, and I
don't think you noticed the ocean beyond.  It
broke my heart that you
couldn't see them, it
breaks my heart, still.  I was
too excited, I think, I
cared too much, for my
urban Los Angeles skyline, that you'd say you
couldn't have cared less for.

I suppose I took you at your word.

If I am naive, then
I am naive; you were
too hard, I thought, too,
too hard.  So I
drew in my sprinkler-head rainbows, and my
oceans beyond, and I,
I suppose, I hid them away.

Maybe I grew hard to you.

I suppose I
didn't think that I could hurt you. I
should have known better, should
have known you better.  But I
thought you were too hard, too,
too hard to notice, and I
don't think you could
see my sprinkler-head rainbows, or my
oceans beyond.

And what am I without them?

If I am hard, then
you made me hard.  If you
loved them, my sprinkler-head rainbows and my
oceans beyond, or maybe
thought you loved them, we
smothered them just the same.

And I was starting to miss them.
Full title: "A Change of Perspective from the Rooftops of Los Angeles"

Written/revised the 8th and 13th of September 2004, only just now decided it was finished (8 February 2005). Contemplating drastically different interactions on the rooftop gardens and balconies of the Los Angeles Getty Center, after having a warm and enriching experience there in August very different from the one I had had in the past--an episode in a relationship that ended very badly, addressed here. Something along the lines of 'some of those things I really wanted to say and didn't' when I was taking so much blame for what had happened and realizing how much of myself I had lost or hurt over the years, reminded myself of why I'd had to leave so badly, whatever the accusations I was hearing. Some regret, some resignation.

(But the rainbows are back, for me. There's a happy ending, even if it's not in the poem. :) )
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Submitted on
February 8, 2005
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