Alan Chazaro is a public high school teacher pursuing his MFA in Writing at the University of San Francisco. He is the current Lawrence Ferlinghetti Fellow and a graduate of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People program at UC Berkeley. His work has been featured in the Intro Journals Project from the Association of Writers & Writing Programs and is forthcoming in Borderlands, Juked, Iron Horse Review, Huizache, Pilgrimage Magazine, and others.
I’m riding the BART from the air-
port, observing what’s outside,
the corrugated fences with spray-
painted messages: This Is Sacred Land;
Fuck Pigs; Die Techie Scum.
The homes are historic
and diverse as the people who live
inside them, colorful and breathing
along the muscular shore. Your mother
grew up here, on 55th, around the corner
from her cousin’s tire shop and the bar
your grandpa would take her to sing
Mariah Carey karaoke as a kid
to crowds of drunken men. The shop
is closed now, the bar boarded up
with graffiti’d wood. But the house
remains with the ceiling your grandpa painted
as the night sky. We will take you
to see it someday, so you can sleep
under constellations that burn
echoes into East Bay dark.