NYC Subway

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Contributor: DS Peters

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Bells ring twice and doors whi-hi-hiiiine open,
“Stand clear of the closing doors.” Zip shut.
“This station is 42nd St., Bryant Park,
the next station is 34th St.”
Wait… wait… wait… go!
Here? No. This isn’t it.
I missed it. I’ll walk from here.
Watch out! Calm down! Move.
Stay to the right. Your other right.
I’m lost. I’m not. Look at the map.
Look at the size of that rat!
Can you help me? Goddamn tourists!
Oy mamacita! Pretty girl! You bitch!
Moving closer, closer, more people more
more more, gum-chewing, gum-snapping,
open-mouth gum-slobbering,
beer drinking, pasta eating…
In this filth? Cigarette butts, spit, bottles,
plastic bags, dirt, and human dust…
Waiting, waiting,
lean towards the tracks, peer down the tunnel.
Do I see a light? Do I feel the stale breeze?
Is that a rumble? Is that it?
No, it’s not the B, another goddamn D,
why does this always happen to me?!
Goddamn train. Goddamn transit system.
Goddamn union. Goddamn New York.
Here it comes… where will the door be?
Get away from me! What the hell?!
Stop pushing! Is there a seat?
“Let them off first!” A seat!
I have a seat for the ride home, yes!
Breathe, smile smugly, relax…
Stop moving over, stop falling asleep,
get your head off me, get your purse off me.
Don’t step on my foot,
you’re standing too close,
your breath stinks. Is this my stop?
Is this it? Is this it?
Where are we?

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DS Peters is a writer, a traveler, and a plotter.


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