Drunk in the Subway
The fantasy of love is wiser than truth:
it laps him round like the sheer compulsive noise
of the tunneling train, familiar violence
that drowns all that it beats on, blinds the mind.
He sprawls in silence on the dusty floor.
Incomers guard themselves with casual eyes,
step softly there, stand where they might have sat,
shaping the space for his head, for his slack hands,
and pay attention by carefully paying no more.
Filled with his need, they do not need to stare,
rather, assent to what his body said
travelling quick and wordless underground,
adjust their eyes and temples to the noise,
yield up their private muscles to the rocketing
lurch and stagger, the metal scream, the crazy blur
of the lost stations: hopeless of love
sodden with speed, drunk, drunk with the train,
they are all gone down, now, all gently down,
sunken, under, with him, in the heavy dream,
blundering, tunneling, dark and body-warm,
silent, all that love, under the ground.
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