Poem by James Atkins
She steps onto a packed train
the epicentre of a shockwave of faceless humanity
rippling out and away, shuffling back
from the mischievous flash of her eyes
the generosity of her smile
and the short skirt that the men steal glances at
but refuse to watch directly.
She makes a schoolboy's day when she stumbles into him
and murmurs something apologetic
She doesn't notice when the guy she sits next to
Shrinks away slightly, knowing his place
At the center of a whirlpool of yearning
(and admiration, and lust, and anger)
She sits oblivious, all the lovelier for it.
She catches me looking at her
and says something about I don't know what
and grins conspiratorially
and asks what the time is
and gets off the train two stations before mine
and although I never see her again,
She remains the one true vision of perfection
against which I judge women for the rest of my life.
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