Breathe

So I am damned
to sit next to Mr. No Personality,
Mr. Rustle My Newspaper As Loudly As I Can,
Mr. Really Bad Breath When I Yawn
(which is often)
all wrapped up into one largish middle-aged man.

I turn the other way
as soon as I see that mouth open--
but there's no escape--
hot moist air sprints from his mouth
in all directions.

I'm squished between strange belly and legs
and the filthy subway wall.
I'm listening to music, tapping my feet
and bobbing my head in a futile effort to forget
how exhausted I am.

I dream of living in a cabin by the beach
someday,
where I'll never be pushed out of the way
so someone can steal the seat I was
heading for...
a place where the ocean waves speak to me
and it's like God Himself is talking
just to me
(and I'm listening)...

a comfortable place--
homey,
where all I'm required to do is
take care of myself,
my cat,
my loved ones...

I dream in rhythm all the way to my T stop--
and I almost don't notice
the tall skinny young man
in the brown leather jacket
with the very cross look on his face
shoving me out of the way
so he can be first down the stairs--

I smile and shake my head--
I can't help but wonder
how some people fail to realize
how ridiculous they behave
towards others--

I'm human,
I'm here--

I'm alive.

 

2000 linda lee tritton


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