subways

what goes on in subways
doesn’t matter
happily buried
witnesses don’t exist

glint of steel
flick of flesh
grope of day
smile in the night

subterranean culture
has its own metaphysical protocol
a riot on the T is contained
like a test explosion underground
let it play out through five missed stops
and then clean up the mess
innocents and brutes alike confess.
a knifing on the L is just routine
if cherry cleaner’s low use listerine.

so goes the mantra of those
who live above
but in the beneath we know the white
the constant motion and the
democracy of pirates
below the earth we know the
delicacy of a stranger’s touch
the scar it leaves ambrosia
the intoxication of uncirculated air
the sag of clothing shorn of use
inside our metal exoskeleton
so we see each other naked
like guts see one another
in the flickering shade of the power
fluctuations
whose menacing credo is
the reason we return not to commute
but to commune

to preen
to fornicate
where light knows our skin will not absorb its lies.

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