Naranja Way; Ralston Street; Lexington Avenue

I loved the alley bar noise in the Mission district. Sunday mornings our downstairs neighbor played gospel so loud all three roommates left the house. On my mirrored closet I wrote a two-line poem in eyeliner by Alicia Portnoy translated from the Spanish: I am talking to you about poetry / and you say / when do we eat. / The worst of it is / I’m hungry too.

Safe House

“You’re an intellectual and a revisionist.”

“You take that back!”

“Lower your voices! The neighbors.”

“The neighbors? The neighbors are with us.”

“Not anymore.”

Et al

The advice from Henry James to writers, “Try to be one of those on whom nothing is lost,” seems quaint and misguided today. Who remembers every Tweet?