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The last time it snowed in San Francisco

my parents had just arrived, house hunting

on an extended honeymoon. You know

there were bridges. His wedding ring,

pockmarked with hammered ridges,

squeezed and bunched-up against the skin.

Hers, a fragile snowflake, touched down

briefly beneath the knuckle and on the verge

of melting. And all of this was before three

thousand miles of middle came between.

Before airplane reservations, stop-overs

at anonymous eateries, distant terminal waiting

lines, and series after series of too close

for comfort connecting flights. There, layered

underneath the road, the strings of cable

cars poured beneath the solid tar, there’s slush

on top of concrete. That constant hum that

could drag or pull partial personalities,

the grind and gasp of destination

somewhere distant. Or seeing possible

picket fences there beyond a further hill

daytime tourists made for sensible shoes,

double-layered windbreakers, and slippery

slogging up California street, the trolley

cars undependable in slick tracks

through glittery white. Shopkeepers

withdrew half their merchandise that week,

the weather too obscene for typical sunshine

pondering. Mismatched sizes of tee shirt

scripts inside, and all that remained

were discards—promises bound tight

through chest and arms. Piles of I Left

My Heart in San Francisco to pick through

and wonder at the various measurements

required. Held hands and shivered into

stores. Tried one, and then another. Reconsidered size.

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