The stream sounds like my mother
        filling our bathtub,  porcelain
              fat-fingered hot and cold

handles quaint even then. 
         I’m splayed out on grandmother’s
              porch chair, the one from her apartment patio

at 11 Fifth Avenue, where I watched
          Nixon’s impeachment hearings forty years ago.
               And while we didn’t know

 how they’d end, things had a way of ending
           better then.  I’m scared of mice, bears, nighttime
                     silence—not like the city

where someone’s always keeping watch,
             where I know the sounds, sometimes jarring,
                    sometimes smooth, where smells of pizza, garbage,

mingle with the sea, where
              mornings I enter the flowing crowd. Suddenly
                      everyone’s in navy, or gaucho pants. I hear

Russian, then a language I can’t place.
   There’s comfort in surprise, in
                       the intimacy of rudeness.

But this loud blue sky and green of maple
                match perfectly, as do pink dianthus  and orange  hawkweed,
                        combinations I wouldn’t dream

of wearing in New York where translucent models
                      breeze by me on Broadway,
                               with such confidence and shining hair.