By Ian Thompson
The drunken man on Olive
wears a shirt that reads I need a chica
from Costa Rica! below the outline
of a nation poverty-stricken
but known by outsiders for its tranquil
beaches—just as my city is more associated
with a haunted cruise liner
than the ghosts of those killed
on its streets, or people like
this drunken man on Olive.
He’s singing Smokey Robinson’s
“The Love I Saw in You Was
Just a Mirage” zealously
and, the slurring aside,
sounds just like Smokey himself.
I imagine that as a child
he heard, “You’ve got what it takes
to make it big,” enough times
to believe it, his future a postcard image
just like those tranquil
Costa Rican beaches.
Ian Thompson is currently working to receive his graduate degree in Literature at California State University Long Beach. He has published poetry in the literary journals Cadence Collective and Ink in Thirds. Aside from writing, he expresses himself artistically by creating noise music. He is a lover of literature, bike rides, and B movies.