Raucous 3 a.m. clatter
at the 53rd Street Dominican
bar. I’ve moved to Brooklyn
from an island with no
incorporated town & two stop
signs. A noisy day
when I could hear eagles
mating from the deck. Face

to face with fear — or was it
prejudice? Big cities mean double
deadbolts, murder, mace. Eyes
down on the subway. I waited.
It took months but the city’s chattering
pandemonium became a living
body. Bar racket began
to remind me of a tree

of crows. The constant shish of cars
& buses became a lingering
rainstorm. There were moments
when the incessant clanging
bundled & surged
like a Beethoven
crescendo. Tap of boot
heels and stilettos in long

subway tunnels rolled back
to me as wind
& wave. I learned
to keep my eyes open, look
forward, reimagine dread. Flip
a nightmare
on its deafening