In San Francisco there is gold.
In San Francisco there is stripped copper wire.
In San Francisco ship masts litter the bay
Goblins call, chatter and unload boats with scary speed.
Mangoes, green nail polish, knives.
The bars served more food than bread
More drinks than only beer
The Westin Hotel and Cabaret
An Official joined them and for a crease of yellow foil
Told them new stories.
Sam knew in wine there would be truth.
There was no elegant solution the Official admitted
no one says that of course
they sent me out here right before.
Goblins? The girl asked.
The Official grimaced, a practiced gesture
anyone who is different is a Goblin.
But you. I’ve heard about you.
They all flocked to her.
A mermaid singing each to each
she sang to them.
The crowd chanted knowing she could
break open their world
Howling through the night
on the corner of Columbus and Fillmore
jugs of wine passed through the group.
The Drummer sidled up to Sam.
She’s going to need a name.
It would be good for her act Sam agreed.
The Drummer shook his head keeping his eyes fixed on the girl
The battered hat, the ragged edges of her pink tutu thin as a memory
That is no act.
The girl looked better – eyes shining
I’ll tell you about the great mother; you are sitting on her skin
You need to caress her more often and stop hitting.
I will tell you the story of the three-hour cruise
How many of us start – believing
we have only three hours and it turns into
The girl lifted her hands – a natural gesture – the crowd roars.
She insists they throw shoes as tribute
I know how it ends. Sam patted the Drummer’s arm
I never thought
I’d see how it begins.