Lee Herrick

In the Tower District, Fresno

There are fragments
of everything. An artist draws
the sun on the verge of arrival.
Andres the poet says you can’t fight
this heat, it’s too large for us,
so pleasure must be discovered
in the submission. Two boys walk,
one in front of the other, holding him
by a leash. A Chihuahua smiles
at the basil from Piemonte’s, approves
and nods at the smokers
in front of the Revue. A Mexican
boy rides a low-rider bicycle slowly.
As his feet complete a rotation—
Coolio finishes a verse.
No one sweats here,
where small dogs rule
and a young woman
with swirling tattoos excavates
her lover’s mouth,
her tongue stud sparkling
from the sinking sun.

Lee Herrick
In the Tower District, Fresno was previously published in Central California Poetry Journal, 1999, Issue 1.