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by Miranda Clement

If LA didn’t exist there would be a lake,
not a field of solar panels and rundown gas stations— well
the gas stations might still be there.
But they would be for the boats.
The ones rich people might bring out on vacation.
And “Cartago: Population 92”
might have been “Cartago: Population 9,000”
If it weren’t for LA moving the water and moving on
from old spaghetti westerns and cowboy ghost towns
Owens Valley would be lined with cars on the side of its one highway,
tourists stopping to get their pictures with the t-rex and Lemon House.

They’d know exactly where it was too.