Sarasota, Florida

Pineapple-topped
palm trees
line the causeways,
geckos
scuttle away
at the sound of our footsteps
(though some of them linger,
and I can talk to them,
cajole them)

Everything here
is so...
...wealthy -
the condo communities,
hemmed in by stuccoed walls,
the municipal foliage,
impeccably planted and groomed
along every road and byway

The people are older,
richer,
more Republican
than in Cleveland,
the young people dream of having a swinging hometown
(we'll drive across to Miami next month
for a week of debauchery)

Downtown,
there's not a crime scene in sight,
but slender avenues,
garnished with upscale restaurants
and art galleries
(which, by the way, are not insipid
as one might guess) :
the place is a fashion shopping spectacle

Sarasota, Florida,
my second home,
new home of my parents,
of my parents' new home,
my destination of necessity
at least three times a year

and despite its general denial
of the Buddhist Truths of Impermanence
and Suffering,
I have to say, it is lovely,
the air is clean, not factory-fumed
(like Cleveland's) ,
and all of the people here, like my parents,
did work their asses off to afford this lifestyle

by Marc Mannheimer

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