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In Irwindale

Aaron Belz

“Are we in Irwindale, Shonda? I’m gambling

not, though you might beg to differ—you

beg often enough.” Man isn’t even in these

bones, if by “bones” you mean clams,

old piano keys jumbling off through the hot

night air. “A blues club, that’s where I’m not,”

I thought, I’m not in a blues club, and that

was the first clue to where I would ultimately not be:

with you, fondly though, if regretfully, on our little

island of others-hatred. Irwindale had held

other charms, at least for the time being (then).

It had seemed almost fake in how pure it was,

how rare: “I love the lake on the one end,”

said Flit, “though Shonda says it's a dam: the Santa Fe”

(Flit being our cat). Then the pitter pat of tiny rains

anointed the jumbotrons of each of our minds: Rain!

we exclaimed, as if deciding upon Vietnamese

after debating what to carry out.  “You’re not!”

she announced, paring sparks of moonlight out

upon her wide, inviting place. But I was,

which means she was wrong. I always am,

or at least I was in those days, if only to her.





Aaron Belz lives in Los Angeles, California. His second collection of poems, Lovely, Raspberry, was published by Persea Books in 2010.


A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure. - Henry David Thoreau


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