We called it Little Brooklyn, a bubbling
gumbo of culture.  Michelle & Tariq tangled
daily & made up. Barbara in her flamingo
splashed lawn chair prayed while clutching
her pale pink bible. Youngsters paddled in the shabby
pool & coin machines clacked in the basement
laundry while handyman Joe, who guzzled
his daily paycheck, paced the parking
lot with Buster the long-haired
chihuahua. One day Joe put his ear
to my Honda four-cylinder & offered
a diagnosis. Usually, he’d try to sell me
a task, five bucks to haul a trunk
of groceries, $20 for a wash
& wax. I’d stretch out by the pool on a patio
lounger with poetry, something vintage,
Neruda or Rilke. I’d stop every 10 minutes
& look up as if I’d sighted a full crescent
rainbow. I’d take the scene inside
my core with its carousel of race,
nationality & language. I’d inhale deep
& slow & congratulate myself.