Thoughts on a Subway
Allison HuangWhen people board the subway
they like to sit across from me.
Even when the whole car is empty
there they shift their brown bags, nestle their denim rumps.
Sometimes I fancy it is because I am a woman
and I am alone.
Once I imagined you
were the one who walked on board
but then how did you find my car?
Or know my train? Or know my stop?
I decide this is impossible, and anyway,
it was a plump oily lady with a red net
of tangerines this time, pretending
not to look at me. But were it you
I’d look up and I’d blink
my gaze would be a sweater
catching on a familiar hook, a crimped thread
unspooling all the work it took
to fit it in its place. I would fish for your eyes
like a dog laps at water
though he disturbs a newborn sky.
Today a child has dragged a coal
across your nose and crystallized
the tips of your cheekbones.
Were I not a stranger, were I
more than just a girl easy
to sit across from, I would fold these cinnamon
candies in my lips.
What Do You Think?
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