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I’m clinging to a cold metal pole on a subway
When I realize something:
This city has no mercy.
For some reason it liberates me.
Whether I stare around like a cow or not,
I’ll still be seen as nothing but something to bump into.
No matter if you live in this city or not,
You’re the biggest loser on the train
But I see you, teen male African American citizen,
Nodding discreetly to the cymbal-driven beat
I can hear through your standard white iPod earbuds.
If I asked,
You’d pretend I was a bump on the tracks
Or a dumb bird that had flown
Into the side window.
So I can closed-mouthed-gawk at all of you
And no one will say anything.
I see you, blonde in the tight white tank-top
With a stain on the jeans that cling
Like plastic wrap to your athlete’s legs.
Your ensemble leaves nothing to the imagination.
I bet you get all the hot chicks, Mr. Hot Stuff.
I spew forth from the train
Like a chunk of a cracker in a drunkard’s vomit.
Before I know it the cold air of the outside
Bites at my eyeballs that I’m forced to keep
Stretched wide open to see
All the wonder crammed into this
I open a coffee shop’s door to a startled old face.
I give a timid, apologetic smile to the woman,
Which she returns with a “thank you.”
She bustles off, and I’m left wondering
What she was thanking me for.
She thought I was opening the door for her.
Silly, sweet old lady.
Didn’t you know we kids these days are selfish?
You’re welcome, I guess,
To my own unintended kindness.
I’ll just keep letting you believe that,
So that you can smile your way to the subway.
I think I’ll buy a donut in here.
Today feels like a donut sort of day.