The palm trees are not native, the Uber driver says --
to me, they look like they have always been here
persimmons and pomelos hang heavy over hedges
promising gardens behind green screens.
The land where the citrons blossom
maybe it is here
light and shadow on scrubbed tiles
cypresses remind me that balance can be found
even on shaky grounds of tar and oil.
Waves embrace me, hills invite me to ascend
When I first came here I came because of death --
I could not un-see magnolias beyond black mirrors
skies behind billowing curtains.
I dreamed of violet and pink flowers
caressing my cheeks and copper hair
of plantain trees whispering, touch me
of one day returning for the sake of life.