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without fail, this city takes my breath away
where from a bird’s eye view, watery pools wrap around cliffs and beaches and mountains

where suspended steel arches itself in graceful sweeps as momentum blurs left and right

where community pockets become distinct, their beacons taking the form of a cylinder structure, preserved victorians, colorful stories on walls

where street grids come close to swallowing you up, until a towering redwood or a glimmer of the ocean reassures nature is close by

this city takes my hand and leads me…
… up, over hills and down zig-zag paths dizzying with color and precision
…into the center where hopefuls and consumers meet
…through decades of immigration, story, and growth

this city takes my heart each time
its rhythm echoing all the music, shouting, laughter
and holds it safe in one of its million places
until my return.

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