L.A. Traffic. A poem by Constant Laval Williams

I noticed it first in the driving,
on one of our notorious freeways.

It was Monday at rush-hour
and I was going 90mph to escape

a feeling, when a man in a muscle car
tore past me with his hazards on.

The freeways as vacant as a Sunday
afternoon. The empty public buses

on the 10-E, with their imaginary passengers
pressing weary, nonexistent heads against

soiled windows. An electronic road
sign that once advertised traffic times,

now advising how to avoid a disease.
And the junk in the emergency lanes

meaning nothing and now everything—
A dead dog. A shovel. A child’s shoe.

“This place needs a plague,”

drivers used to laugh
while stuck in traffic.


Constant L. Williams is a poet based out of Los Angeles, CA. For more information please visit the website.

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