The history of L.A. as told through a time-lapse photograph in reverse order describing what happens when Beck flushes his toilet in Silverlake:

First published in Rios De Dios, 2007, by Red Hen Press

unjiggle the handle, ballcock and float rise to full, the water flowing backwards through the house walls, left turn then right turn and out to the main, a hidden river of water certified clear and pure rushing backwards to the DWP treatment plant the EPA testing shuttlecock valve the coiled hoses the OSHA approved stainless steel aeration chamber bending up and through standpipe past bolted flange shunt valve through deep tanks underground then more black pipes then the calm green eye of the final reservoir open to the sky under moonlight and the moon is its perfect reverse pupil tonight but the water again is rushing now back up the far end of the Valley into the aqueduct and tunnels backwards through San Fernando Agua Dulce Palmdale Mojave going back up the creosote sides of the Southern Sierra Nevada past the turnoff to Cal City, Jawbone Canyon, the Honda test track, first sagebrush then the cinder cones and clean black basalt cliffs of Little Lake, past petroglyphs and campsites at Fossil Falls, the Cartago spill gate running slow at 134 cubic feet per second then up and passing Big Pine and Caltech's calm rational all-white radio telescopes searching the sky above the horizon line of the White Mountains' bristlecones, water remembering the stones of Manzanar, by-passing Bishop, chilled water mingling with the warmer layers of the intermediate storage reservoirs as a Swainson's hawk glides past on a storm front smelling richly of new-mown alfalfa, up past Owens Gorge and Crowley Lake until it branches off over a final small dam below Lee Vining and rises steadily up willow alder aspen cottonwood side canyon streambed and the trout are dark-eyed blurs as it races past them and up higher higher to the smallest crease in the drainage line at the highest cirque in the springmelt Sierra, high high up, so high and steep and the water now is coalescing into slush, thawing, refreezing, climbing out of the couloirs onto flanking snowpack, ice crystals locking and unlocking like the fingers of the child's hands, here is the church, here is the steeple, open the doors and see all the people, only each of the little faces in the church is white and frost-edged, snow mouths and snow noses in dancing circles on small and perfect snow faces, all of them staring upwards in praise, staring upwards and standing up now, standing up and singing and stretching their robed arms and rising in ascending swirls, rising, rising, the beads of water small as the microscopic pointed tips of feathers, rising upwards into a gun metal light, little white hummingbirds of water rising up out of sight into the clench and release of a dark winter sky.

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