Seeking Damage

I envy all the freaks

the careless

the risk-takers 

Particularly the vulnerable 

Those not debilitated by fear

If you wear your flaws well

You become interesting

It’s no fun 

to be the wallflower

the shadows are less engaging

the silence is too loud

I’m looking to be destroyed

by those who do not see me

If you wear your flaws well

You become interesting 

The hills

the essence of dreams and disillusionment 

coated with brown vinyl seating

the aroma of rejection over diner coffee 

travels to my window 

every morning is a chance

to become someone else

stone walls greeted with a side of familiarity 

a running receipt of regrets

a night on the town alone

is a dance with the devil

why roll the dice

when we just end up back here again

meet a stranger at the counter

go home with your neighbor

the one who’s a writer

tip your waiter as you call your mother

time is running out to feed the meter

an eager observer

inhaling a dry city 

with all the smog and pollution

Its sadness and its thrill, the luster of a pearl

hoping she will acknowledge me

as I wait behind her patiently

walks through Beachwood Canyon

Hollywood appears much larger from here

her stature stares me down

throughout the romance of the bougainvillea

stands the ceaseless silence of the hills 

Vibrant red lights of Capitol Records 

shine through my window every evening

soon I cannot sleep 

without the sound of cars passing 

on the 101


woke up to spider bites and his hand cupping my breast

the grind of fragrant coffee beans

makes anticipating a jester amusing

make sure to open up the kitchen windows

morning light hits differently in LA

off to the Farmers Market 

for fresh French baguettes 

we never travel for breakfast

we hardly ever leave the cottage, together

riding up Beverly in his vintage convertible 

catching a glimpse of my own bliss in the mirror

nihilism interrupts with its flawless timing 

the top isn’t down

fitful encounters, the rest disregarded 

behind those cottage gates in Koreatown

exists a reality where we both fell asleep 

next to someone

at the deli he stood, mesmerized

the limp shrimp on ice mocked my presence 

half a pound ordered

back to his urban chateau

my arm extended as to steady the wind 

just enough compression to stay present

“kill her, kill her” 

was the song stuck in his head

reopen the kitchen windows, savor the light

he broke and buttered my bread

a bowl of cold shrimp between us

“my French friend says buttered baguettes 

with shrimp taste just like hazelnut”

in these fleeting moments of delight

an obscure breakfast with a shadowy lover

hazelnut is heavenly 

even when it just tastes like shrimp

Reoccring dream

I want to lean into the sun

And tell myself I’m free

Were you always on the run,

Or was it just when you saw me?

Is there any stronger love

than the one that’s in my head

It forever holds me down

like the stranger in my bed

clinging to every word

on this imaginary thread

the birds get lonely too

when you remove their beds

running back to sleep

to meet you in my dreams

the only place it seems

that you will never leave

Hope lives and daydreams in Los Angeles. It took her 15 years to start sharing her work… with anyone. She’s currently working on a collection of non-fiction short stories and poems about her love affair with LA, all the freaks she’s met all along the way, and her undying commitment to romanticizing her existential dread. To connect, contact her via email or find her on Instagram @hope_arjmnd

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