Yes! Long Beach is Singing

By Fernando Gallegos
By Fernando Gallegos

By Kelsey Bryan-Zwick
after Walt Whitman

Yes! The Queen Marry plays her foggy horn tonight
ships abound, clang with cargo, serenading sailors
anchored at port, the fisherman on jetty baiting hooks
and honks of semi truck drivers switching gears
revving up the bridge. Yes! All Long Beach song

All sing! The dollar store clerk, the gasoline attendant
the sales rep folding new dresses, the grocer building
pyramid of apples, hums the tune. Yes! The plumber
sings opera in the shower, a lullaby for newborn, happy
birthday at the restaurant, the waitress even brings cake!

The minstrel birds know it, chirp from telephone pole
roosts, in rhythm with crosswalk blinkers and squeaking
bus tires. Yes! Long Beach is singing the popsicle-melt
song, the ice cream truck making its rounds on the block
the kids giving chase, jingle pocket change

Yes! The song is a hit, the girls in their sunglasses
on their way to bikini and beaches, have stereo blasting
windows down, shout out the words, and even the road
with hot asphalt sizzles, the blares and beeps, construction
zone slow downs, orange cone detours, all on beat

Yes! The buskers have their fedoras out, at all hours
the troubadours brandish trumpet’s song. Yes! The song
has signed up for the Open Mic, the young punks bob and
weave to headphones wired, fashionistas taking selfies
Yes! The song is there see, photobombing the scene

Yes! The barista is baritone, and bartender on bass
the lady in the corner booth cries out in soprano, her
cell phone chimes in an alto, orders called out Grande
and Venti, crunch of loose dollars, lipstick smudge
on napkin, a sweater forgotten on the back of a chair

Mixed tapes for lovers, playlist composed, the freeways
are singing. Yes! Of road trips planned for deserts and
mountains, North on PCH, then South, the views taken in
at the art gallery opening, the concert next month, all
Long Beach singing

Yes! The song can get loud, yes the endings abrupt
Yes! The drum solo goes on for twelve minutes, and
the guitar has broken a string. Yes! Long Beach is singing
as the sun sings, and the sky! And me! And you! Yes!
Long Beach is singing, howls, and how do you dos!

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