Ist this about us as a body_----

3 Train, Clark Street to 96th Street, Monday April 28th
I debated: ask the guy on my left or the woman on my right? She had headphones on, but her poet vibe was strong. Lately the request begins a negotiation. After my pitch the stranger almost always says, “I wouldn’t know how to begin to write a poem,” or “I’m not a poet.” I use the scofflaw agent as an example. “Write a day in the life of a scofflaw agent.” That yielded something fresh. We are interested in lives. We want to know. Hey Stranger, what’s on your mind, what you do, how you see things? In the end, Sarah had wondrous thoughts in her head, and a secret as well. Yes I knew. It was a movement of her hand.

Is this about me on this
train, or is this about us as
a body. From Brooklyn to the
Bronx, or the Campus down
back home, the long-term
riders have an air. They settle
in, they worry less about seats.
I can’t help but wonder.
Why does it seem different
on the train – on our own planets
we try not to intrude – but
space remains the most
precious commodity. Can I
put my headphones on and
keep my coffee from scalding
the reader below? Does anyone
know how far along I am, and
will they sacrifice their seat.
Long-term riders are slightly
more kind than the quick
commuters – who figure – I’ll
get off soon enough. As long
as I can wedge my face into
my sleeve, and success has
followed my headphone dance,
I stared aloof – I’m probably
going further than most

Read a poem by Lara A

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