I push the button,
The jaws of the train clunk as its mouth opens,
the 9am crowd surging through its hollow body,
eying up the row of sickly plastic benches.
The wheels tighten, I loosen my tie,
off to the office, I sigh,
as I pull out today’s ‘New York Times’.
My eyes drift towards the woman across from me.
A fragrance of citrus and strawberry drifts off her shoulder
as she plumps her pout in the screen of her smartphone.
A bead of sweat poised on her collarbone
glitters like the diamantes on her nails.
screeching against the rusted tracks
before the machine-lady hybrid speaks:
a split second pause
-Sixty Seven Street’.
No one gets off, so we simply sit
beneath the sizzle of electric bulbs,
their garish light numbed by dirty glass
that cradles the bodies of last week’s flies.
Like an aged rattlesnake, the train creaks and hisses through the tunnel.
I’m attacked by a river of thick black hair
belonging to an olive-skinned woman who yaps into her cellphone:
‘no, no, quiero ver Times Square!’
I close my eyes and listen as her tongue rolls and dives
taking a bite of my bagel from Starbucks.
-Seventy Two Street’.
Although preoccupied with different thoughts,
the bodies on the carriage drift and sway with the motion of the train,
as it stops
and starts once more.
Two children in uniforms twirl around the carriage,
their laughter more electric
than the current that bristles below our feet.
tickled by the dreadlock that sweeps over his face,
looks on with jeans so baggy
his legs melt into the seat.
The Jamaican flag blares from his t-shirt.
Next to him, a man bakes in a moth-eaten waistcoat
clutching a wallet with quivering fingers.
I follow his gaze to a picture of a woman
black and white with coffee stained edges.
His wrinkles deepen as he smiles at his
I notice glittery pools of the past forming in his eyes,
-Seventy Nine Street’.
As I glance down at the platform’s monotonous shades of concrete,
and brush the dust from my grey tweed suit,
I think to myself
how colourful Upper-East Side is.
I shall never stop travelling on the 9am subway to Seventh Avenue.
how boring my life would be.
I wouldn’t be me.