I Wish This Train More Empty

Written by: Paul Sylvester

She sits there
electric as the third rail.

Entering Charles M.G.H.
but we’re still moving quickly
(finally
just three of us now).
Each disgorged passenger
leaves a seat
looking back at me
with a shiny black grin.

The wheels and track
wail
as a dilapidated wall
comes into view.
                                  (He gets off)
so I look up
excited
and try to catch her eye
without being obvious-
I miss
and read an ad
for Citibank or something.

We're out over the bridge already
and the sailboats are sitting at odd angles 
like Battleship pieces, 
and I am stuck like the red peg
in a clear plastic hole.
Dazed, I watch the boats sway-
when they move,
it’s effortless.

I wish this train more empty.

Next Stop, Kendall / M.I.T.    
                         jarred
back underground
to an unnatural dark,
but the city's full
and we've run out of bridge
so it's this ridiculous down.

The lights flicker
and I look around
desperate for an excuse
to talk 
or to split a smile,
but nothing comes

and nothing is coming
but estranged 
body language.

She is a queen
as I close my eyes
and step out of focus,
and the hypnotic wall
goes blurry

	  - - -

We climb the perfect angle steps
that some civil engineer designed
(with the darkbrown grimestain
that will never come off)
so that each step puts us closer, 
and I can feel the design:
one false step
and I will bump her side,
stand up straight
and find her fingers in mine

        - - -

Please take a moment to collect your belongings. 
This train will soon be cleared.
			
And I’m jabbed again
but this time there is no whooshing
urban rush,
no manic kinetic
or artsy tunnel-black

I am awake
in this godawful sandtrap
9:30 AM

I am alone
with this girl
and her miserable long hair
and pretty pink skin.
We've gotten nowhere
as the lights lose their drive
and can’t make it to my eye.
We’re still sitting 
and I can’t remember how walking feels.

In the dark she looks confused
and her face is awkward
and her body sore.
She shifts her uncomfortable weight
from one side to the other.

In the dark,
I wish this train more empty.