Poem: On the F Train

By: Adreyo Sen

fstrain

On the F Train she is
yet another prisoner
straitjacketed by Pink North Face,
her anxious hands cuffed
by anxiety,
McDonalds imprisoning the slender cheekbones
her once tender husband teased
would shatter his heart.
Her eyes dulled are yet sympathetic,
amid their half-awake memories
they smile upon my curious stare.

The train slithers away from her hopes,
her snoring neighbors numb her,
my interest vexes her,
but the thin gold pressing against her ankles
calls her out of her prison
to days spent dancing on the beach
and emptying packets of peanuts
into her mouth, to moments in which she
linked arms with girlfriends with the same crushes
on Shah Rukh Khan and Sanjay Dutt,
to afternoons spent racing up and down sun warmed roofs
and crying under the stern eye
of dance teachers with harsh voices
and hearts of gold, to evenings
she sat by her father’s side and watched
the glowworms dancing in the dark and thought
if only life could be this perfect
all life long.

And yet as the train bumps and slows,
the gold hugs her still slender dancer’s ankles
with a lover’s insistence
and her soft eyes glisten in response
and as she gets up at Knightsbridge station,
the smile with which she leaves her train of memories
includes me in its warmth.

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