I could not swallow my vanity there in the Mission.
Having arrived with a rose for the Virgin,
I was told at the door She is not seeing guests.
I thought perhaps if I plead or weep
but here in the mission I cannot swallow my pride.
Instead I return to the streets,
give the rose to a girl named Mary.
She takes the rose and promises
to be mine until it wilts.
It was there behind the Mission
we swallowed each other
and left the rose in a glass of water
on the window ledge
looking out to the dunes beyond the Mission cross.