If this train car were mine, I’d hang plants from the
metal bars. I’d stain the windows—blue, yellow,
pink, blue again, green. When I ride above this
Dorchester, the orange sky will pour onto my white
curtain lace, my stacks of books, my blushing skin.
I’ll look out at the yellowed rooftops through
scratchless sunshine glass and wonder how much it
must hurt to live anywhere else.
Eleven people are touching my body right now. Their
heavy breath polishes my skin while I lock into my
reflection on the silver window. It's unromantic to be
so yellowish in the waiting room light. I want to hold
each hand, but I only have two. And the putrid people
have so many better things to grip, even when my
arms look like their railings. We survive, for now,
though none of us want to be here. In the blackened
watercolor windows, we have golden skeleton faces.
Not even one of us will make it to the end.
Outside is pink. 5:50 is sweet and mine. Up this
early, my brain is nothing. This train car is a
train car, all metal and yellow, rattling and
Next Stop: Kenmore. I am empty and going to
work. I am moving slowly. The next person is
5 rows away and she looks like me, like
headphones, like eyeliner, like she's trying to
appreciate the sunrise past her soft and
frowning reflection. I don't want my stranger to
smile. I don't want her to meet me. She won't
look away from the zipping outdoors or the
peach, back-lit outline of the Hancock Tower.
How could the mobile empty waiting room
compare when every morning sky looks at least
a little different? When I get off at Arlington,
there are more of us. But the girl hasn’t noticed,
doesn’t move, and will see me again tomorrow.