Transit Poem by Emily Dawn
Even the subway rats are exchanging embraces,
it's the goodnight kiss for proper dates,
an invitation for improper,
old lovers, messy breakups, and makeups,
Subtle infidelity, blatant sexuality,
A reluctant return to the waiting babysitter
And sexless sleep for the married.
Maybe you'll miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
But in a city of millions,
I think I'll take my chances
not taking every chance i meet
that offers me a night accompanied,
to spend a sleepless sleep...please,
I can lay awake all on my own.
in this city where everything is public.
Insomnia is my bedfellow.
We are squeezed together
transported from one compact,
stacked compartment to another,
apartments, sidewalks, subways, cubicles,
above and below.
There is no such thing as off screen,
if you’re waiting in the wings
it is with a thousand other hopefuls
Preparing to perform...
even our phone calls are shared,
there's no such thing as 'just you and me” in anything,
even texting: A time-stamped transcript.
Mask your reactions,
hide your heart somewhere else,
never let them see you sweat,
cry, spit, or bleed.
Never publish your liquids.
I've interrupted the rodents' attempts at intimacy,
they glare back at me, waiting for me break my gaze,
daring the train,
Its Just me and the subway rats.....
and about 300 new Yorkers
waiting for the same 10: 59 L train
on a Thursday night
3 floors beneath union square,
beyond receptive range.
Loneliness, of course,
Overstimulation is our breakfast food,
that and caffeine.
My over kissed cheeks are weak,
Tight with the soreness of too many cameras,
too many forced flashes of teeth.
But perfect polish conceals every part
others shouldn't see.
To me, makeup is clothing,
and I have a no nudity clause in my contract...
this city gets off on what's implied not seen.
Measure your publicity carefully,
a few too many grains of salt
make even the sweetest sweet inedible.
But straight sugar is liable to be spit out.
Surrounded by crowds, I begin to confuse
even my own chance reflections
with fellow travelers, pedestrians,
partiers, hustlers, inhabiters,
Who is the girl in the window,
who are they all watching like their next meal,
who's staring at me from the tunnel,
The train moves so fast and yet so slowly,
I barely noticed myself
disappearing into Brooklyn.
Is she prettier? Is she thinner?
Is she waiting for something?
Is she happier? ?
Is she seeing someone?
Or perhaps multiple no ones
just to pass the time?
Is she restless? Is she driven,
Ambitious, on the upswing?
Hustling or drifting aimlessly?
Is there any method to her madness?
Is she frigid? Is she fiery?
Is she braver than me?
Is she overcoming or succumbing?
Is she secretive or forthcoming?
Is she thinner?
Is she happy?
I like this part of the street
Where warehouses loom to meet the social scene
the river and society...
This, is where it still gets dark at night.
Hiding from Manhattan's ever-burning lights.
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Comments about this poem (Transit by Emily Dawn )
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