Compass Rose in San Francisco

Forgot that North Beach was filled with live nude neon (I navigate by bookstores). “Tacos?” I ask but Compass Rose wraps her hand my waist like a latitude line and swivels me 45 degrees (according to her protractor boutonniere): “West, west, to the sea!” “Dead seagulls,” I say. “Graffiti. Nudists. Fog,” but the N Judah arrives. Compass Rose presses her nose to the glass, lectures about zoning. “I love your urban form.” I finger the creases in her suit, the same pink as the painted lady atop the hill.)

We walk along a path of broken sand dollars. “When does west become east?” I ask. “That’s not the question.” She traces an angle in the sand with her heel. Bioluminescent organisms make it glow. “Ask me how to represent a sphere in two dimensions.”

Rebecca Landau is a junior at Columbia University. Her work has appeared in Hanging Loose Press, the 826 Valencia Quarterly and Talking Writing among others. While not reading or writing, she is usually busy procrastinating.

See more of her work in 5.1