© Julie Bolitho 2018

midnight on the subway

1 Mar 2010

 

 

tonight it’s a black man and woman

making love

with their necks

                          and whispers

on the dirty railway car

 

yesterday it was a Chinese couple

 

tomorrow

                maybe interracial

                        or homosexual

 

but always

                 the couple is standing

around a greasy, gray pole

the intimate metal shining

on the fingers, the humerus, the elbow

 

their fluorescent-lit eyes dance

                                with tongue and lips

                                                           cheek and bone

 

the elderly in the car appear

disgusted

               annoyed

 

the innocent

                     blush

                             possibly loathe

 

I

  envy

 

wondering if anything will break

their necks

entangled like swans

 

wondering if anything will silence

their quiet mating calls—

hush the vague Ss, Ts, and Ds

of their whispers like children telling secrets

 

Do they drink

before

climbing aboard?

 

maybe if I slipped

some whisky into Lover’s coffee…

 

but he is allergic

and doesn’t drink coffee anyway

 

he’d rather kiss

and say nothing

in our home

 

never feel the paste of dim boxcar lights

never feel the grip and pull

                                           of flesh

as the train rolls

                           in

                              and

                           out

                                     of destination

 

my stop comes

 

before the lovers know

the car has ceased again

 

I know they ride beneath

the city

for hours

               never asking

time

location

 

never knowing the frustrations

of making love in clean, quiet bedroooms

 

© Julie Bolitho. “midnight on the subway,” Poems. Albatross. University of Chester Press: 2010, pg. 23.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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