Thursday, September 10, 2015

the metro

and climbing
the steps were many,
she beside me keeping pace
though easily could pull away 
like a pup on a leash
tug tug tugging
on my heart
at the very top
we entered through a door
new, nice,
the wood distinct,
the floors as well in the little room
she wanted a metro card 
a thing new
to me
to her
so we stood at the machine
as foreign as an ATM
pin numbers never used
long forgotten
i decided to ask for assistance
friendly advice
to be suddenly accosted
a man, dark hued, with a $15 dollar metro card for sale
no thank you, she said
no thank you, i said
do you know how to use this machine, i asked
and he did, his fingers moving over the screen like a magician's,
sleight of hands, 
adjustment made, an error immediately perceived, 
a change from spanish to english
knowing by the look & taste & smell of us
she held fast to her bank card
his tug tug tugging
on her riches
the courage & fear & distrust
high alert in that moment
i'm homeless, he said
do you have some money?
$5 dollars, a dollar?
a dollar, i said
that was all i had
she handed another dollar to his pot
i'm homeless, he said
good luck, i said in return
but he didn't hear me
on to more prey
no one is fooling the other
no one

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