subway stories

No. A silver chain of train cars crawls groaning down the tracks.
A silence weaves through people’s arms and settles on the floor,
The people hold onto their bags and chide their aching backs.
A steady flow of newcomers through scratched and worn out doors.

I ride the subway with my latte, anonymous girl of New York City
A hundred faces with a hundred stories lined up on their forehead.
And I’d like to ask them where they’re headed, but what a pity-
It seems I am doomed to conforming to the expected norm instead.

Those of us lucky enough to grab a seat,
Under the florescent lights illuminating our pale bones,
We give blessed rest to our wearied feet,
And busy ourselves with detox, on our trusty cell phones.

One time there was a guy my age, crying, hard and silent, his face turned away.
Once, while we were going over the bridge, a homeless woman opened the side door,
And sat down on the edge and I thought she would jump, and I didn’t know what to say.
One time I rode the train on the way from a funeral, my stomach ice cold and my eyes sore.

No. I will never learn where you came from, and where you are going.
No. I might steal a look at what your novel but I’ll never know your name
Yes, your eyes are drawn and all your weariness is bravely showing,
But we are strangers in a vast and mysterious city and every ride’s the same.
I get off with a new collection of hands and smells and shoes and theories
And walk on down the street, beginning to forget all these subway stories.







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