i love slash hate you

i love slash hate you, L.A. 

because you’re miles away and in between, 

a paradise within four break-away walls,

your colors saturated, like living in a dream.

i love slash hate you, L.A. 

i love your sun-soaked fatigue, your inner monologues-

a secret no one knows.

i love your wafting smells, the vendor cart on the corner, 

mountains at sunset, sunflowers, marigolds, roses. 

i love slash hate you, L.A. 

i hate your congestion, the itch to yell and look into 

an abyss, looking back at yourself. 

i hate your sticky heat, the man who pushes his way to the front,

i think i really hate the haze of self-induced confusion. 

i love slash hate you, L.A. 

i love how your white linens contrast blue skies, 

your tell-me-about-it attitude and your desire to be offbeat.

i love how you whisper magic,  

drunk on music and in love on the screen. 

i love slash hate you, L.A.

i hate your disingenuous smiles, your inconsistency, 

telling me it’ll pay off eventually, it’s just the timing has to be right.

because you make me so angry at complete strangers,

because it’s alright to value trends and worship others.

i love slash hate you, L.A. 

i love how your winding roads open into idyllic hills, 

mesmerizing me with the summer breeze. 

smells of noodles, beef bulgolgi, street dogs, 

chatter in Korean, Spanish, Farsi, Chinese.

the truth is,

you’re hard to ignore, L.A.

at every corner, surprise awaits.

our relationship is tumultuous,

some might say a bit extreme,

but you’re the one who taught me to dream.