L train L word

from by Beth May

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I am a railroad romantic, because
I have fallen in love with too many strangers on subways and L trains
I don’t refrain from making puns about cabooses. You see,
You have seduced me away from the privacy of my crossword puzzle
And potato chips
While I swallow spit because shit. Your eyes.
Your eyes are like the bruised plums in my brown-bag lunch

I need a four-letter word for “let’s start a VHS porn collection.”

Let’s takes pretentious Polaroids of our marriage – invite no one
Because I never loved the moon before someone held my hand and showed it to me through a telescope, like distant, crumbling brie.
And I never needed coffee before I had someone to wake up to
And I never said my good mornings with a hand over my morning breath
And I never had another hand to pull that hand away and give me Saturday kisses on a Tuesday

I rub my sleeves between my thumbs and my fingers,
Telepathically telling you not to look up at me.
It’s weird, I’m really good at telepathy, expect when I’m not.
I’m young, but I’ve already stopped punching my friend’s arms for
Slug bugs
And telling people they have cute dogs
And they say shit like love can’t change that, but
the old lady next to you has a cute-ass cocker spaniel
and I’m going to ask her to pet it.

I watch the veins in your hands move against your bones like snakes on sand, slithering in time with your penciled-in answers on the paper,
And I wonder if those same snakes would slither in time with post-it notes and birthday cards, becoming more prominent with age as the sand erodes
And I wonder, if that same sand would accompany us on beach trips,
The kind where we didn’t mean to stay all night, but we packed a blanket just in case
And can that blanket
Be our honeymoon?
Because a beach is a horrible thing to waste
Chasing seagulls into an infinite rumble of green.
I love you.

I watch you collect your crossword at Monroe. You’re gone by Adams, leaving a page of the paper. It’s probably the obits.
It’s probably for the best.
And if someone asks me if I knew you, and a billion memories flash before me like runaway photons, and I’m borrowing your eyes. I see brittle scaffolding in Chicago winters, lonely strangers dancing in Brooklyn to the beat of their own sweat
Flip flops half melted to the Phoenix asphalt
As if to say we were too hot to say "hi" anyway.


from the family arsonist, released February 10, 2015
"Enter Through the Ear" by Ehran Elisha and Roy Campbell
Available on the Free Music Archive
Under CC BY license



all rights reserved


Beth May Phoenix, Arizona

I'm a writer/actor living in Phoenix, AZ with an additional poetry habit...Sorry that my voice creaks.

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