Three mayors ago, I lived in a fifth floor apartment
that overlooked a park, and the whistles of the trains running
the West Bottoms competed with the arrivals at the downtown airport.
All my boyfriends and my mother, too, wondered how I lived.
All I knew was I was living in the city
and living by the Whitman code.
Sure, Jones and Kresge’s were gone,
and I don’t remember getting ice cream home from midtown without it being melted,
but I had red lights in the dark outside, a mattress on the floor, and
couscous over the kitchen sink.