Subway Woman

She looks into the subway car

like a criminal looks into their jail cell

with contempt, with bitterness,

with acceptance.

 

It’s 1AM, car a quarter full,

faint summer air conditioning filling

the air along with her grievances.

 

She resigns, lays back in her seat

after picking some lint out of her hair

she doesn’t know how she got here, either.

 

 

Why this city? Why that man

that made you so tired you didn’t care

to go back to the love you found

beneath the stairs, hand in hand,

balancing the acts of dependance and diplomacy.

 

Plastic bag full on the lap,

eyes closed now, keeping still–

maybe that will make everything less real:

 

“I belong in the subway, now.

This orange chair may backdrop

to a life of longing,

I’ll sit here and nap

until I reach my destination unknown

(probably 145th street).

 

Perm fixed upon me with slight pride

I thought maybe that would help free me

but I guess adding more layers, more chemicals,

more time and energy doesn’t make up

for the enthusiasm my story has stolen from me.

 

How fun it was to lay in the sun at high noon,

park bench, husband waiting. How full the moon

felt when I first read his lips, his eyes, his kiss.

 

The kids will understand;

they are older now.

 

I can sleep in peace.”

 

based on a woman I saw in the NYC subway 

 

July 31, 2016

 

Watching the Night

Have I ever gazed

a sight like this?

Third (fourth) floor?

Window sill?

Moon shining like a teardrop

ready to fall from above?

 

Well, no.

It will stay in its place.

All you must do

is spread your wings

and fly up there yourself, darling.

 

You have nothing to fear.

 

It is just a New York street,

an Upper Manhattan merengue

playing off in the distance.

 

What does that sound, taste, scent of doubt

have on this essence of consciousness?

 

We are here together, on this main stage.

 

It keeps turning,

we keep turning,

your mind keeps turning

let it be what it is.

Feel it.  Nod, let it go.

 

Patience is hidden in the smile of the moon,

offered by the silence of her sister sun

she remains, shining brighter in the darkness

and not afraid of her beauty, either.

 

The real miracle

is knowing how to watch the show

and not become it;

the moon does this for us every night

brushes her lips against the sky

I can see it shining–

a smile reflected in the stars.

 

No, I cannot see them above the diner sign

but I can hear them:

whispers of light

burning through the galaxy

reminding us

that we do not understand time, just yet.

 

July 12, 2016

Self Love

I’m

beginning

to see

self love

in a different way.

 

Learning

to love yourself

for what you used to doubt,

to question, to hate–

that is the most important part.

 

The smile on your face,

the eyebrows above it,

the eyes a boy used to love,

the stories within them.

 

Water can crash down

and hurt you but in the end,

it is only water.

 

Everything else is just a feather,

floating,

remaining neutral.

 

July 2, 2016