Subway Pastoral
by Michael Dalelio


A man tugs at his trench coat,
belt dangling from loops,
no buttons hooked into holes,
belly folded over his belt.
A woman with heels to her chin,
once girlish curls now twirls of frizz.
Her body a crystal ball,
used up by the future
as much as the past.
Even here we don’t belong.
A trashcan sits near a bench, full,
a plague of stuff to rid ourselves of.

I search the tunnels,
cool brown, darker.
What beast might come?
A roar releases,
envelopes the edge
of the platform,
the span of concrete,
swallows us.

This place looks best empty,
no one waiting, no shoes clicking,
no papers rustling, just a trashcan,
newly bagged, empty, shining
in the lamps, light falling
over plastic kinks, shadow, shine,
like water down a rock face,
white foam, dark rock,
a mist of water, an aura of light.






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