(For Eric Lawson)
First the dogs erupt in a flurry of barks and howls
followed by the Doppler effect of emergency sirens,
then a policeman through a megaphone
orders someone to get out of a car
and orders someone to lay down on the sidewalk.
I stick my head out the front door
only to hear all my neighbors turn up their TVs and radios
bored with the interruption, annoyed, inured.
One neighbor begins to watch Star Trek
blasting the familiar title sequence.
Another has a war in the living room,
either a video game or Apocalypse Now.
A tawny pit bull protects his tiny patch of dirt.
this Inglewood cacophony,
A policeman pulls a man off the sidewalk
and stuffs him into the back of a squad car.
A flashlight pierces the night, searching,
spotlights on me for an uncomfortable second
then focuses on the moon through the truncated trees.
The moon’s rotation matches
her own revolution around the earth
but when I look up at her I see no change.
I see the same face staring back at me
and I hear the roiling tides dying down
to the point of eventual equilibrium.
A neighbor argues with his wife.
A tawny dog whimpers in confusion.
I put on my headphones and write
in sync with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.