Exquisite privacies of skin laid
bare, jeweled in perspiration,
embarrassing no one,
cram those trains, a Tetris’d mesh
compact as babushka bags packed
with rosy hunks of salted pork,
dried fish and their flat, silvery,
gloomy eyes, and little gold apples.
Food smells, human smells mingle
in the close air, all of us close, as in
proximity or “almost.” A panoply
of breasts wobbles drowsily
in tube tops, very floral housedresses
like pairs of plump, disgruntled hens.
I watched a girl push together hers,
giving a look to the boy in shiny shoes
like her eyes were tongues. They left
for the WC, straddling the toilet’s
distended steel lips, and my libido gurgled
like I’d thrown it into hot fat.
Once a drunk leered in my face,
“Where do you think you are, Noov Yark?”,
conceiving one of those instant, male
hatreds for me, half sexual,
and tried to sit in my lap like a nephew.
Breathing their air, I’m thankful
still for the stinking fact of people,
for the couple who ate
four hours straight: rolls, skins
of grapes piling wrinkled as foreskins.
Thankful, as if all the salo sandwiches
he folded for her with slow ceremony
were meant instead for me,
as empty platforms ticked past,
the woods bristling, night wind
through its needles a lonely whinge.