• Neon Mariposa Magazine

First Time in L.A. by Archana Sridhar

The moon-faced old man hauls my suitcase

Into the underbelly of the Buzz Lightyear Disney Express

The velcro of his single black glove frays with each smile.

Bienvenidos abordo

I’m startled by the lavender-crayon flowers of the jacaranda

Creeping shyly over washed-out stucco walls that

Separate highway from houses, speed from sprawl.

Neon signs spell “HIS NIBS CIGS” in the strip mall window.

A fringe of Italian cypress peeks out from behind

Layers of adobe tile that hide the city’s shame.

At the underpass, a man roasts brown under the sun,

Wears a thinning undershirt with nylon shorts.

Broken bottles and emptied plastic drums roll down the gravel hillside.

Hands on hips, he inspects his vast desert empire.

My mind dissolves the porthole of my bus window and

I scream to him, “Why make camp here?”

But in the breezes of that last day in April, no cover for miles,

He does not even look up at me, at the witnesses

Careening towards a smudged out skyline.

Archana Sridhar is a university administrator, poet, and mother living in Toronto. A graduate of Harvard Law School and a former Fulbright Scholar, Archana's poetry focuses on the themes of race, meditation, and trauma. Archana loves visiting any place where the staff have to dress up in period costumes. 

#poetry #issue1 #ArchanaSridhar


Recent Posts

See All

Leavetaking by Maria Picone

I can’t just tell you goodbye and walk away, can I? It’s a foggy day with a lot of doubts about what it wants to be. I pick up grocery store roses on my way home. Walking to the car, I realize you’ll

Two Poems by Kat Terban

Resiliency For Gorō Nyūdō Masamune, Zatōichi, and Daigorō There are people whose experiences in life have hammered at them over and over, folding them like steel at the tongs and anvil of a smith so s

North Wind by Dorian J. Sinnott

We washed up on the shores of our own wonder, mysteries of endless deserts and river mouths, making love with the sea. Let me breathe in the North Wind, sailing across the scenery of your soul, like b

©2018 by Neon Mariposa Magazine. Proudly created with

This site was designed with the
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now