Invitation, by Claudia Castro Luna, Civic Poet

Read for Ampersand Live at Town Hall – November 12, 2015 

Invitation 

I invite you to come along on a bicycle ride the whip of the green river early September when its water teems with pink salmon and bank anglers dream their fishy dreams and you…rolling past wishing slack tide for the anglers and flood tide for the fish.

I invite you to lie on a blanket stretched under the heart shaped leaves of a Little Leaf Linden tree. Let breath yield to grass, branch, bark, release unaware your secret lusts. Pistil and stamen, flutter of wings, legs in shorts, vegetable sap. Ecology of desire, mid-summer heat, Volunteer Park.

I invite you to caramel city. A place where every cash register displays hand rolled,
hand-wrapped or neatly packed salted caramels luring your will power to ruin.

I invite you out to breakfast 6:30 am, Fisherman’s Terminal, fried oysters and a pile of hash browns. Between the large windows and boats ensconced in fog, invisible to the naked eye, marked only by a column, the architecture of life-times made and lost at sea.

I invite you to Alki point, a una noche de verano, mar y arena, luna y estrellas, suave
el aire sobre tu faz.

I invite you to buck the trend. Next time you pass someone by, resist the unfriendly pull
– don’t look away or down. Kaput indifference. Melt the freeze. Breach the gap.

I invite you to stand on a South Beacon Hill bus stop on a vaporous and chilly 40 something rainy winter’s day, and wait and wait and wait for a bus that’s again late, late, late.

I invite you to a house renovation project where your only job is to order the paint and so you visit a SODO paint store where fifteen minutes go by and no one behind the counter bothers to greet you, you don’t even get a sideways glance – others get called, receive their orders, ask questions. A large sign announces “Color Trends.” Invisibility is no paranormal trick on your part. You don’t ever choose to make yourself invisible. “Hey!” you want to shout, “Do you all want fries with that?”

I invite you to a party in Ballard where a woman expresses regret at hearing the news you’re moving to the south west corner of the map, “We’ll never see you again,” she says in a self congratulatory way. What you say is, “Oh, there is a whole bunch of us living down there having a good time, you should come down some time.” What you don’t say is, “Hey, do you want fries with that?”

I invite you to shop for grapes. “Taste the red ones,” says the man stocking produce.
You lean in to grab a bag …”NO! not those,” he says concerned, “Those are organic –
the regular ones are here!” pointing to a different stack. Taken aback you say nothing.
But you want to say, “Hey, do you want fries with that?”

I invite you to orbit emerald chaos at the Seattle Center satellite fountain. Watch water
jettison,
then fall sparkle and splash, the way you wish your doubts would simply crash.

I invite you to Hillman City where strangers turn to greet you, sometimes with a smile.
I see you their gesture says, you, You, YOU. Tall oaks line this stretch of Rainier Avenue and leaves trail/splutter/flap after the 7 rambling downtown leaving behind periphery and heart.

Claudia Castro Luna