Strangers on the subway
Who I never met and never will
Say, "hey, martha", like they're hailing a taxi
And I say, "hey" back, because, I am martha.
The lights go out in the tunnels, because, the conductor thinks it's funny and,
Three murders happened in that time but, no one cared
And the conductor still does it.
That train after 1 am
The grey and green one that smokes and used to have a future,
That was, good at writing or something in high school, but, never made it to college, you know the one.
That train rolls up and its five minutes late, but it's always five minutes late so no one complains,
And I stub my toe on the way in, I forgot to, mind the gap, and
A strange stranger bumps into me,
They say, "watch where you're going Sal"
And I say
Because, I'm Sal,
And we all get on and no one says a word, and most of the passengers are rodents
But maybe some are marsupials
I dont know the difference.
And we sit in there for ten minutes maybe, avoiding eye contact like it's the plague,
Excepting, of course, those few that make eye contact the whole ride, like you're interesting or, appetising, or, they're blind and those are actually glass eyes that just happen to be looking your way.
And, when the train starts it lurches, it belches down the cars, because it, doesnt think anyone can hear it because its five meters underground and, no one could hear anything from down there.
And as we sit and we ride the silence turns to music, like the lack of even rustling, or bustling, or conversation to a friend, becomes the sound of collective recognition, often purposefully ignored, that no one on that train is going.
The train moves, but they dont, and, even though their stop is right around the corner, no one on that bench will ever find their corner piece, or land that gig, or get the girl, or save the day
Because in the looming washed out morning,
They're all just, simply, nothing more than, strangers, on the subway.