Los Angeles, 1965 by Ruth Keally

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los angeles skyline at dusk She swaps Carolina mountain mist

for California sunshine

and turns her life upside


Golden sands of beaches seduce her,

and earth tremors stutter

under her feet.


She enjoys wearing mini-skirts

before Southern friends

know what they are.


For the first time her cigarette pack

tells her smoking is hazardous

to her health.


She reads Unsafe at Any Speed,

then, lost, drives through Watts

the first hell-night of the riots.


The suicide of a favorite student

teaches her about LSD.

She mourns him with martinis.


The freeways confuse her,

and she can’t catch her breath

in the smog.


“Help!” sing The Beatles,

but there’s no relief for her –

so uncertain, so alone,

in L.A.

ruth keallyA native North Carolinian, Ruth Keally currently lives in Georgia where she writes poetry, flash fiction and creative nonfiction in her spare time. She particularly enjoys experimenting with different approaches in her writing. Her work has appeared in Athens Magazine and the online journals Pens on Fire, Long Story Short, and Diverse Voices Quarterly.

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