By Jasper Fu
By JASPER FU
I always loved the best part of travelling to San Francisco
of bouncing impatiently in a rattling SUV
down a rattling highway
a child eager and in search of the pastel houses and twisting streets
are we there yet, Dad
that mark the City.
Perhaps it has not the cobblestone gravitas of the Old World
the spiraling modernity of Tokyo
the cozy warmth of brick buildings blanketed in Northeastern snow
the storied glory of Rome or Greece
still, it has its own charm.
Here the fog rolls in to make day brisk
for all the efforts of the California sun
as we run rampant through shops and stores
as my parents try to contain us.
But it is nights that lay bare the beauty of the city
cold nights spent bundled up
colder still for me
who has never seen snow
never heard hail.
The view from Coit Tower
or Twin Peaks
is all the more glorious for the climb
my dad proud he has dragged us three children up
as we cover reddened noses with numbing hands
as we scramble with fingers that can hardly feel it
for a quarter to slip into the slot of a rusty telescope
an eagle’s eye on demand.
Giving up and pulling away
revelling in the view
streets strung with stars shimmering so far away
blurry but beaming but blaring in the distance.
For all that, the best part is yet to come
because the best part is waiting
after I clamberinto the car
after miles weaving through winding roads
Miles Davis playing through the contented silence
after a day well spent.
The best part is waiting
as we pull into the driveway
as we walk through the doorway
as we climb up stairs as daunting as any mountain
our leaden legs refusing to move
for all that we had just climbed one.
The best part is falling into bed
because I am too tired to lower myself
because I do not want to move another step
because I can’t, Dad
because the best part is always coming home.
Jasper Fu (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a long way from home.