Poem From The Woman Sitting Across From Me On The Subway


Poem From The Woman Sitting Across From Me On The Subway

Look at this boy looking at me.
Tossing his eyes so secret-like.
Like I don’t see him each time
I look up from my book, pretending
he’s embarrassed to be caught.
This is not a game of cat and mouse,
boy, I just want to see how close we are
to Canal so I can get off.


trying to see what book I’m reading.
No, you probably have not read it. No,
it is not exciting that we both like books.
Stop taking all your books
out of your backpack to show me
that you have them, it does not
look like you’re organizing. It looks
like you’re trying to show me all your books.


why are you wearing those bags
under your eyes so proudly? Why
neck cracking like a mating call? We
are all tired. All beat. Your legs
are not more sore than anyone else’s.
It is still okay that you did not offer
your seat to anyone, this is New York,
but don’t think you deserve it.


they call it stealing glances because
I’m not looking to give them away.
When our eyes just met, it was not
a cute mistake. I was staring
to fucking intimidate you into looking
at somebody else. And
I saw you fix your hair in the reflection
of the train. Making it the


kind of messy. I’ve got my finger on the trigger
of your intimacy now, don’t I? You let it slip.
The way you made sure your hair was flat
on the sides and double checked the cross
of your legs. You wont ever say anything.
I can smell pent up pick-up lines
on your breath, you’ve been holding
them in your mouth for that long.


I don’t want that one-way ticket
to your day dream. This is not a poem.
This is the N train. I’ve got places to be
and no time for the type of silence
your kind deals in. And anyways,
I do not need wooing. My heart
does not need the keys you hope
to shape for it. Some of us


keep our hearts chained.
So erase all of this. Put away the pen.
I’m just someone on the subway. Not
the vehicle for your epiphany. Not
the photo thumb-tacked inside your
heart locker. I do not need
to be written about to be whole.
And anyways, I don’t need help with that.

You do.