Poetry: Subway by Eric Keizer
©June 2017 Eric Keizer
Inwardly I smile, but only
Deep inside, otherwise,
They wonder if you’re crazy/dangerous.
Next stop, North Ave.
Gingerly I step inside,
Doors slam and suddenly,
Acrid, stale, “air conditioning”
There’s sour sweat, sour beer, lingering vomit
Cologne and perfume
Next stop, Randolph St.
And sides of beef,
In Brooks Bros. 3 piecers
Or Chanel hang
In one armed salutes from leather straps,
As we merrily go rolling along
To slaughter houses, packing houses and
Light banks flicker, go dark
Predetermined gaps and time,
Disappears in starts and fits,
I feel sensory overload and deprivation,
And am keenly aware of strangers,
My body, my breath, my briefcase.
Next stop, Western Ave.
We roll and lurch and bump each other,
Thin smiles for passive acceptance
Of an inadvertent groping,
Under a guise of keeping balance,
And trying to remain upright.
But spindly legs wobble,
As this drunken nightcrawler sways,
Straining, groaning on ancient steel
And the weight of electro shock therapy.
Next stop, Austin Blvd.
We always make this wide loop,
Through Uptown, downtown,
at Harlem Av,
Frank Lloyd Wright’s renowned town,
Fresh air and home.