if you're like me, you
closed your eyes one cool
november evening, and opened
them seconds later to see what
at last looked like. blurry,
as through saline. bright, as
through pupils (and minds)
dilated. afloat on a sea
of ecstasy, you are shocked
it's so hard to navigate. now
that nearly anything on the boat
can be an oar, it's as though
the cargo has all been tossed
overboard. you may feel
as if you've lost your bearings.

so blink a bit. now: look
west. further. further. check
the coast, where the joy is muddy,
picking itself up from puddles,
where folks with lopsided
smiles stare at rings stripped,
not of meaning, but of status: that
is california. now look closer.
closer. look to your left,
to your right. as you'll see,
california is the state of the nation.
look familiar? keep looking,
however blinding the sun-
shine. even when the load
is light, witness is ours to bear.