Raucous 3 a.m. noise
from the Latin bar
& I’m petrified. I’ve moved
to Brooklyn from a remote
island with no incorporated
town, two stop signs. Some days
there I could hear eagles
mating—their ecstatic
high-pitched screams louder
than mariachis. But big
cities mean double deadbolts,
murder, mace. Keep eyes
down on the subway. I was
flustered by a stubborn
fear—or was it a prejudice? It took
months until I heard
the city’s pandemonium as a living
body. Bar sounds—a tree
of overcrowded crows. Constant shish
of cars & buses—endless rainstorm pocks
intermittent with thunderclap. Click
& shuffle ricochet off subway
passages & roll back as wind
& wave. There are moments
when the constant layers
of sound bundle & surge
like a Beethoven crescendo, granting
me the courage to open
my eyes & then, like a Giant
Rex rabbit, I fix my sight & keep
looking ahead for clear direction.