Subway Blues

Strap-hanging jazz

croons tunnels of yellow squares,

heat, graffiti and body smells

beneath Lincoln Center,

flesh on flesh and the grime

of windows pressing my face

into Duke Ellington’s A-train.

From NYU to the bowels of the Bronx,

I changed at 59th Street,

and oh, how I wrote those grad-school

papers on Pinter and the loss of self, eating

a baloney sandwich with mayo and lettuce

on smashed white. One night

I thought a stray bullet grazed me . . . .

–excerpt from “Subway Blues” in To Sip Darjeeling at Dawn by Donna Pucciani (Virtual Artists Collective 2011). First published in You Are Here: A Journal of Creative Geography.


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