Ruddy Neon Love

One last glance behind me
And I see
The pieces of 3 years
Tears – spring to my eyes
With reminders of you

Of what these eyes have witnessed
Underneath your skies of perpetual blue
And soon, they will be just a memory
I won’t even have context to remind me
Of all that you have held and manifested in my life
Of the role that you have played in my story
An integral character in the shaping of a woman
On the cusp of adulthood

Your skyline has been the backdrop for my spirit
To be erected in the moonlight
Like so many lofts downtown

Thank you, Los Angeles, for all that you have been to me
A haven – a place to run to, to grow
To sprout wings
Away from my roots
And you have fulfilled your deed

You have taken your role so seriously
Is has been as if it is your primary job to knock into me the reality of life
And the hidden joys that can be so hard to spot
But I know that it’s not
Your primary role
That you are a character in a million other stories
And how amazing! This doesn’t take away from your consideration of mine

So in this twilight of goodbye:

I thank you, Los Angeles, for your indiscriminating arms
For your unceasing charms
That fool and tempt those that seek your solace
At first
But when I looked a little deeper
I found your frank honesty
In the broken hearts and underbelly
Of this enormously isolating city

Thank you, Los Angeles, for your smog-swirled grin
The breathtaking beauty in
The birds’ eye view of you
And realizing all that you hold
And all you inspire
A fire of influence, revelation, and desperation
Like reactive chemicals
That fuel your ruddy neon energy

Thank you, Los Angeles, for your twilight-zone rest
In which it feels as though I am
Suspended in a blood-orange womb
Of confusion
Waiting for real life to begin
Time does not seem to pass here
The seasons do not mark years
Because they know how you flow
That you do not age
That you live in the now
And so must your inhabitants

Thank you, Los Angeles, for your rhythmic waves
That remind me of the cyclical nature of life
When the seasons cannot
And that when I try to freeze the ocean of the future, I cannot
And when I try to keep my feet firmly planted in the sand
You remind me that I will only sink
That I must keep moving
Keep trusting
Keep rolling with your waves
No matter how fierce
Or gentle

Thank you, Los Angeles, for your paradoxically genuine smile
A welcome that is not expected, but comes in the form
Of a Del Taco cashier, a Skid Row addict, and a hairstyling hipster

Thank you, Los Angeles, for your unceasing questions
That constantly challenge
That constantly force me inside of me

Inside my thoughts
To confront the loss of sanity
That has seemed to take over me
Since you started shaking me
Vibrating my foundations until
Everything shattered
And else nothing mattered
Except I was left with dust
And realized I must
Restructure who I am

Thank you, rich southern California soil
For catching the raindrops
That have sprung from my eyes
Over and over again
In the wake of devastation

When I’ve been shaken to my core
You’re been soft and more
You’re nursed my tears
These 3 years
And nourished them to grow
To become the ideas, the beliefs
That make up me
The adult Kari

Your grating, concrete-laden setting
Has been the stark backdrop I have needed
To plant new seeds
To grow a new me
To face the real me
The one inside the seed of my soul

Los Angeles, I have to confess something

I’m in love with you

Despite your mascara-stained hills
Your platinum river
And your palm tree press-ons
You are beautiful

I have seen your heart
And it is a hidden treasure
Buried beneath 1,000 tons of concrete, glitter, and donuts
And now, as I leave you behind
I find you more kind than ever before

And you’re making this hard for me

Now, as a full-grown woman
I take one last glance over my shoulder
And I walk away

I’m grateful – for these reasons
For all that you’ve provided me
For all that you are
And for the face that I walk away in anticipation of a more peaceful season

Ruddy Neon Love


Joined October 2007

  • Artist
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