“Driving North by Car to San Francisco” by Richard Scott

Into the white, undulant palace of the city.
Into the windows still ripe with our seeing.
City of our mothers, and grandfathers,
Eternal city of the mind
Where nothing vanishes for long without returning.
Into the coffee bars, the late-night cafes; the carriages
with horse hooves echoing like hollow clocks.
Entire evenings spent alone with nothing more than a few poems and books.
Then to walk down Geary Street in a light rain,
Beneath marquees reflected in the street
Like 10,000 tiny white bulbs
Of water boiling at your feet.

I cannot save you
(you need no saving).
Cross the last rusted bridge of the city.
Cross to a circle of night, unclosed and lonely.
Wait for the sun to stain the city pink,
To make these hillsides white,
Greek, and crumbling at noon.
Then to disappear again beneath a night
Of shadows
Shaped like the Acropolis.
Do not wait for me.
The fireworks, the tinsel palm trees
A fishing trawler, rusted, is sagging its nets.
And there’s a row boat with a single string of lights,
A few of them blinking.
Go ahead, now,
Count the many-keyed, many-colored
Spangles of light,
Our circus net
Set out to catch
Whoever’s falling.


Richard Scott attended the University of San Diego and won the Milton Saier Award for a Writer with Accomplishment in Poetry, as well as the Burkhardt Prize. After coming out in the 90’s, and raising a family for 25 years, he is making his first steps in publishing his work with this, his first published poem.