East 12th Street, Oakland, the decaying light industry
harmonizes with the warehouses, alongside the BART line,
the disused freight train tracks, the bridge to Alameda.
The signs are a song: American Emperor,
Overseas Asiatic Coalition, Union Meat Company,
Five Harvest Wholesale and Fidelity Packaging,
where cheating-ass boys in unsmogged cars
get side-eye from their side-bitches in the back-lane
or get BJs from CDs on the DL.
East 12th Street, where the pot-holes hum in B minor
and the gas-stations and auto body repair yards
sing a chord with the discount furniture warehouses.
You find your tune again, by the meccano drawbridge
under the overpass, over the railway crossing,
fantasizing better days to come.
About the Author: Natasha Dennerstein was born in Melbourne, Australia, to a family originating in Belarus. She worked as a psychiatric nurse for many years, which gave her an interesting perspective on the human condition. She has an MFA from San Francisco State University. Natasha has had poetry published in many journals including Landfall, Snorkel, Shenandoah, Bloom, Transfer, Red Light Lit, Spoon River Poetry Review and Foglifter. Her collections Anatomize (2015) and Triptych Caliform (2016) were published by Norfolk Press in San Francisco, who will also be publishing her novella-in-verse About a Girl this Fall. Her recent chapbook Seahorse (2017) was published by Nomadic Press in Oakland.