Jade clamor knobby earthquake bones at dewy

window panes and rub their thick and glistened leaves on

plaster walls cracking

crooked seems dropping pieces to

the floor dusting plantains thrusting roots

in exuberant humidity eating

ageless stairways impossible in

the California sun that neither preserves nor

destroys the hillside thrust steeply

out of ocean’s harm and falling always

back in rivulets of rain and mud

coursing hills of gravel, dead brush and

fennel humming with breaths of licorice and urine,

traversing cobblestones paved on narrow

one-way streets of houses grown into the hill,

whose wooden sides give way to rock

where hens and goats once roamed

overlooking the hillside where it hits the valley to

channel 23rd across the Mission District floor

built upon a buried lake

fed by a buried creek.