Grit.

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
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
By default.

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
SMACK
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
Beautiful
Grungy
Gritty
City.

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.
The smile?
Oh.
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’m hungry.
I think I’ll buy a donut in here.

Today feels like a donut sort of day.





Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

fall_from_grace said...
Jan. 25, 2010 at 12:47 am
Dark, and slightly fucked up. I love it. The... gritty way of looking at the world, the beauty in it. "It takes a great deal of courage to see the world in all it's tainted glory, and still to love it"-Oscar Wilde. I have a picture in my head that I've been waiting for years to be good enough to paint. It's a dilapidated old merry go round. Full of decaying grandeur, and rotting memories. This poem makes me want to try painting it again.
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback