Poem Share


   It’s difficult to capture the feeling of a New York City commute: how you see someone crying on the subway or how you stride past a stranger tearing up a photo as U2 resonates through your ear buds. In my Fiction Writing class, my teacher shared this poem, which aptly describes the person-shaped walking packages of anxiety that we all are. It’s brilliant imagery.

Tuesday 9:00 AM

Denver Butson

A man standing at the bus stop

reading the newspaper is on fire

Flames are peeking out

from beneath his collar and cuffs
His shoes have begun to melt

The woman next to him 

wants to mention it to him

that he is burning

but she is drowning
Water is everywhere
in her mouth and ears
in her eyes
A stream of water runs
steadily from her blouse

Another woman stands at the bus stop

freezing to death

She tries to stand near the man

who is on fire
to try to melt the icicles
that have formed on her eyelashes
and on her nostrils
to stop her teeth long enough
from chattering to say something
to the woman who is drowning
but the woman who is freezing to death
has trouble moving
with blocks of ice on her feet

It takes the three some time

to board the bus

what with the flames

and water and ice
But when they finally climb the stairs 
and take their seats
the driver doesn’t even notice
that none of them has paid
because he is tortured
by visions and is wondering
if the man who got off at the last stop
was really being mauled to death
by wild dogs.
Veronica A.


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