Underground

morning
sunken faces
old town station
girl stretched in jeans
lipsticked, tight, converse shoes
nymph body, pressed melancholy
against the door
moves to make room
I’m beside her
almost touching
like this
silence shared
one station
doors open and
I leave
looking back, a girl
forlorn
our eyes meet parting
she’s carted away
now streamed over
now down stairwells, through turnstiles
mechanically gazing
the light reads, 7:59
I’ll be late
sullen faced
down more stairs
and more dead
the doors opening to wobbling eggs
I’m squeezed in
waiting to hatch
mind wanders
eyes, careful not to catch
scanning over, scrolling through
the overworked, the underdreamed
foggy, senile
mesmerized, deaf
sluggishly interpreting text
a yawn, daredevil’s intent
shoot me, he says
I won’t break
fuck it, she says
do what you will
bury me, she says
it’s not going to change
her head hangs
fingers comb
the ends of her tail
strands run through
a wedding band
the slightest of awareness
motoring stagnant
underground
the regularity
of ineffectual alarms
doors opening to close
duplicating eggs
the sound of speed
hacking like a nag
inside the tunnel’s
point A to point B
a cellar
darkness
is this the earth?
she checks her blackened nails
for a blemish
a swollen face sighs
age and youth
communicating their skins
beauty that doesn’t know it
decay refracted in every window
pane
ridges fallen in everywhere
the incredible weight
maintained in an eyelid
thunder rolling down languid arms
into chins
delirious for sleep
in rouged cheeks
and not so suddenly
the eyes shutting—

but there is more—
another station
and a ruddy young boy
with rainbow backpack
leaps the threshold
lands like a gymnast
holds the rail-pole tight
swings for speed and smiles
looking forward, around
and at
he is smiling
he is smiling at me!
he holds the rail and swings!
it’s the ride of his life
hyper, kinetic, obvious
on fire
though his father
expressionless as wool
watches over
his boy at the door
pressing unlit buttons
open, open, open!
he says
open!
bury me, she says
nothing will change
I’m going to jump he says
the father too busy
doesn’t notice
the doors opening
instinctively
pulls his son
back in—

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