I am the lip of a granite step,
honed to fine-edge, whetted sharp,
a blade upon which you tread everyday,
come what may, c'est la vie

In the metro no songbird sings
though the echo is so strong, almost holy

Bring us home, click-clack, sweet steel on rail, 
Tom Thumb, chug-chugga

Elevated stops...shh...hear the air-brakes,
squeals 'round the roundest corners,
runners seek oil, high over the city...

On the subway home
I doze to the sports page
dream of powered
 drives to center,
 strong hips, action,
sympathetic knees, breaking wrists,
the geometry of grace,
 the boys of summer
kiss the cheeks of autumn ladies

Sweet grass,
City sparrows
 on ginkgo trees
in high branches aside the el,
lilt fossil
call to me
 through open train doors
to wake me
 at some station after mine

I smell my own sweat
there on my clothes,
the heat of the train
an oven, bakes me proper

I rise, exit
to debut on this foreign platform,
sad to have missed my stop,
to have missed my time

I search the faces around me,
for the one to help
 point the way back,
the staircase to the other way

cc: Chagall 2022/2013