Even the subway rats are exchanging embraces,
it's the goodnight kiss for proper dates,
an invitation for improper,
old lovers, messy breakups, and makeups,
Subtle infidelity, blatant sexuality,
A reluctant return to the waiting babysitter
And sexless sleep for the married.
Maybe you'll miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
But in a city of millions,
I think I'll take my chances
not taking every chance i meet
that offers me a night accompanied,
to spend a sleepless sleep...please,
I can lay awake all on my own.
in this city where everything is public.
Insomnia is my bedfellow.
We are squeezed together
transported from one compact,
stacked compartment to another,
apartments, sidewalks, subways, cubicles,
above and below.
There is no such thing as off screen,
if you’re waiting in the wings
it is with a thousand other hopefuls
Preparing to perform...
even our phone calls are shared,
there's no such thing as 'just you and me” in anything,
even texting: A time-stamped transcript.
Mask your reactions,
hide your heart somewhere else,
never let them see you sweat,
cry, spit, or bleed.
Never publish your liquids.
I've interrupted the rodents' attempts at intimacy,
they glare back at me, waiting for me break my gaze,
daring the train,
Its Just me and the subway rats.....
and about 300 new Yorkers
waiting for the same 10: 59 L train
on a Thursday night
3 floors beneath union square,
beyond receptive range.
Loneliness, of course,
Overstimulation is our breakfast food,
that and caffeine.
My over kissed cheeks are weak,
Tight with the soreness of too many cameras,
too many forced flashes of teeth.
But perfect polish conceals every part
others shouldn't see.
To me, makeup is clothing,
and I have a no nudity clause in my contract...
this city gets off on what's implied not seen.
Measure your publicity carefully,
a few too many grains of salt
make even the sweetest sweet inedible.
But straight sugar is liable to be spit out.
Surrounded by crowds, I begin to confuse
even my own chance reflections
with fellow travelers, pedestrians,
partiers, hustlers, inhabiters,
Who is the girl in the window,
who are they all watching like their next meal,
who's staring at me from the tunnel,
The train moves so fast and yet so slowly,
I barely noticed myself
disappearing into Brooklyn.
Is she prettier? Is she thinner?
Is she waiting for something?
Is she happier? ?
Is she seeing someone?
Or perhaps multiple no ones
just to pass the time?
Is she restless? Is she driven,
Ambitious, on the upswing?
Hustling or drifting aimlessly?
Is there any method to her madness?
Is she frigid? Is she fiery?
Is she braver than me?
Is she overcoming or succumbing?
Is she secretive or forthcoming?
Is she thinner?
Is she happy?
I like this part of the street
Where warehouses loom to meet the social scene
the river and society...
This, is where it still gets dark at night.
Hiding from Manhattan's ever-burning lights.
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Comments about this poem (Transit by Emily Dawn )
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(16 April 1918 – 27 February 2002)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(7 June 1917 – 3 December 2000)
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou