You’re sitting on the train,
And you’re quite certain that nobody sees you,
Even though you’re pressed up against several bodies—
Or maybe they’re trying not to see you because you’re
So close you can feel that they’re breathing in and out,
But they’ve controlled their motions
So carefully that you never actually touch shoulders.
You’re certain nobody sees what you’ve carried
Onto this train along with your bag and your books,
Or nobody wants to see, because nobody’s meeting your eyes.

So you’re looking into the darkness outside the window,
Wondering why they put so many windows in a train that travels
Underground through dark tunnels,
And you’re carefully training your eyes
Above the heads of the people across the aisle,
Below the advertisements, into the window,
And the blank black wall that turns the window into a mirror.
You’re looking at yourself.
Your eyes look sad.
Stop looking so sad, you tell yourself;
Someone will see.
But no one will see, they’ve trained their eyes
On the wall, on their own reflections.

You’re screeching along at a breakneck speed
Trying not to gaze too directly into your eyes or
Anyone else’s, when right there, riding parallel to your train there’s
A window, fluorescent lights—another train
So close that you could feel it
Like that person breathing next to you,
Never actually colliding although it seems impossible not to.
You’re looking into a window,
Where someone was looking out, seeing darkness
Only a moment ago, wondering who would see him,
Convincing himself that no one would.
You catch his eyes, hold them there,
You’re racing along together for a second, and
You wonder who he is, where he’s going.
And then as suddenly as it appeared,
The window sinks down, you lose the light,
And he disappears
Down below into another tunnel, a separate track.
You’re racing alongside darkness again,
And, you imagine, so is he.



Joined October 2009

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