San Francisco Redux

Early morning stroll down Fillmore
before art emporiums sweep their sidewalks
and coffeehouses start buzzing.

From the second floor balcony
of the Mustard Building, when the fog
has lifted, pigeons stand watch

for stray sourdough crumbs,
and escape from Alcatraz looks possible
across the length of my finger.

Strong currents harangue the Bay,
difficult for anyone to reach
the B&B in a lighthouse off San Pablo.

A tattooed man, no shirt, shopping cart
parked at a broken meter, sips
from a Starbucks cup,

while further up the block,
two sleeping bags side-by-side
murmur and squirm.

At City Lights, I slip the last copy
of Unlocking the Exits
from a dusty second floor shelf.

A Tibetan monk and a white-haired
woman wearing a neck brace sit
in the storefront window eating sushi.

Later that night at the Plush Room
Rita Moreno in lilac sequins
croons Gershwin.

Nothing has changed, San Francisco,
just you and me, and the corner grocer
setting out sweet melons.

Nancy Scott