ssomna: (dreamer)
[personal profile] ssomna
You were sitting on the subway,
an unexceptional girl
with straight black hair and a sturdy build,
holding too many bags.
You kept offering your seat to everyone —
to the six-year-old kid who got on, clutching his mother's hand,
to the middle-aged woman standing in front of you.
They were happy, thank you, they were fine.

So you sat patiently, waiting for your stop,
singing softly but unselfconsciously to yourself,
your voice floating its high, sweet solo
over the rhythms and chords of the city,
the bass rumbles and the squealing dissonances,
the murmuring voices of the subway car.
I listened, trying not to seem like I was listening.

I wanted to jump into the conversation,
to slide my harmonies up against your voice,
pushing them into the empty places,
meshing like velvet,
making musical love to your notes
in the sphere formed by two threads weaving.
It would be a secret intimacy before these strangers' eyes,
in this world of sopranos and lesbians.

But we were shy strangers,
I didn't trust my voice,
didn't know the song,
and there is no etiquette for initiating such things.
So I only smiled at you when you hoisted your bags,
explained that you were leaving,
and another stranger finally took your seat.
We sat in silence punctuated by panhandlers,
listening to New York's noisy symphony.

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ssomna

December 2010

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