Sunday, July 3, 2016

penned on the subway

Because love has its own grammar,
its own sentences,
some that run-on too long,
others just fragments.
It uses a language
not always appropriate
or too informal,
and often lacks clarity.
--Clint Margrave, To the Student Who Asked Why He Earned a "C" on an Essay about Love

we write our way into being,
and we read our way into loving.
we pray into the dark oblivion,
and cry until we become what we are not now.

the movements of our hearts and minds
happen in the dark inside our bodies.
And we can only guess at what
the other minds around us think,
from the light inside their eyes.

I sit across from you on the subway
and I do not care what you are thinking
because you will eventually tell me
and if you don't, I'll take delight
in all the secret workings of your mind.

the subway ads overhead are the chorus
to the verses we compose with our laughter
and our warm young limbs
in the hot city summer air.

I sit across from you on the bus,
every corner of my body filled
with hot, red rage.
The anger and the liquid hurt
flushing my face with fire.

The conversation of the rich old man
and his young protégé, are a
sickening, saccharine underscore
to the dark drumbeat of pain
thumping my chest, and her dull
echo inside yours.

I sit across from you on the train
separated by not much
except a world of words, and thoughts, and feelings
that can't be crossed by transatlantic flights.

The silence punctuated by the lack of rainclouds
in the sun, and the sheep and Queen Anne's Lace
dotting the green fields like spots of bleach.

I envy the girl with her sandwich:
she looks back at me with a protective
curiosity (perhaps she can sense how
I covet her lunch), and goes back to
her phone and SnapChat faces.

I wonder at the many words and hearts
contained within the confines of
such human public transportation;
the couples silently loving or hating,
the mothers and daughters bickering,
and the children soaking in each moment,
turning the seats into their private playground kingdoms.

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