Swept Away by Angela L. presented itself like any other poem on the pages of a Teenink magazine, a simple but sweet thing, but that is most certainly not the case for this brilliant and thought provoking piece. Angela’s lyricism was the first thing that caught my eye, reading the poem out loud made it sound more like a song. Her descriptions are minimal but are effective and conjure so many images. Like the line “Smoke curled up from cigarettes, blowing plumes of gray air from ashy lips.” That first line was one of the best I’ve read from a Teenink poem, it puts you right where she wants you and prepares you for the rest of the piece.
In this poem Angela hides or finds herself in small areas of the subway, like “a click on the floor tiles”, “a smudge on the dirty subway door”, or “another featureless mystery”. Angela relates to the dirty interior of the subway, it describes her in a way, her darkness. She also comments on how she is looking “for someone or something to bring color to the dark”, she relates her own lust for humanity and light to her current state of cobwebs and sorrow. I especially love the ending line “but for now, I ride the dirty subway car.” It brings the simplicity back to the poem and leaves us with a sense of pity and curiosity.
Overall, Swept Away by Angela L. is a beautiful piece about the places in between longing and belonging.