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Jun 2019
Sometimes I think of how hard the floor must be to stand so many footsteps
I met tourists who forgot that we made homes here
They kept stomping, to claim space for themselves on our floor

We slid on your blood to a place where your body isn’t remembered
Bright red, like you held your breath
In dance, we are taught to avoid anticipation
Make each motion independent
A surprise to the audience
Nobody stared at your chest till your shirt was cut open

I never get reception in the tunnel
How long till someone picked you up?
I can picture the damage to your eardrums
The deafening screech of metal pulled along by electricity
The burns with fade but parts of you are still laid out on the tracks

The tourists tried to tell me that it was “probably just drugs”
I tried to tell them that we are a community
That we cannot reduce your life to a probably, or even a maybe,
Cannot pretend to know your body on a stretcher
It sounded a lot like crying to me

I told a counselor I wanted to send you flowers
Know which hospital they took you to
She said something silly about a kind heart, but they weren’t for you
Just wanted to know that you lived,
Didn’t think they’d let me send flowers to a morgue

I’ve been to a morgue: they let me see a body
Can’t remember his face
Can’t remember your’s, either
But I see your blood and ripped shirt and the head restraint
I see your hand reaching up and hear my own prayers that you’ll fall asleep soon

My friend will not remember the story, did not observe your body as a phantom
Cannot see your body on the tracks and forgot I told him it was there

I understand
Sometimes I forget the order of operations, too
I step over the line and somebody reminds me that the train arrives first
The doors open and a voice I don’t recognize gives me permission
I apologize for taking up space
And then suddenly, I’m someone else

I’m hoping that you woke up in the hospital bed and were someone else
Unlike most of my writing about love stories, this was a true event, with real people. My heart goes out to that man. I’ve had so many nightmares about him. I hope that he fell asleep and woke up in less pain. When they let me up the escalator, I ran back to campus, pretended I hadn’t been crying, and picked up my friend. I don’t think I can forget what happened there. If I cannot send flowers to the man, I will be sending them to ER doctors and nurses at the emergency department of my local hospital. Much respect To all of them.
Lydia
Written by
Lydia  18/F/Pennsylvania
(18/F/Pennsylvania)   
218
   ---, JAC and b e mccomb
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