Sunday, 15 July 2012

Brian Le Lay

This Train, Hoboken, Last Train

At some point I'll have untied
The knotted shoelace
The disordered alphabet
That is New York City's subway system,

Won't need to grip the bacterial silver railing
For balance because my calves will know
What curves are coming before I am a tempest
Thrown into the stern-faced Korean woman's lap,
Set her scoliosis blazing, her plastic bag
Of exotic fruits and white asparagus
Torn open like a fishnet stocking,

Which of us swaying like a second hand
On an analog clock, in the third car
From the engineer, will change the world?
And who will smash what amenities were worked for?
And who will be there to claim irreconcilable differences,
Unstop the mascara plaster from her ducts
Drag out the tears before an Eyewitness news-van?

Some will be married on an early spring Sunday
Under a latticework of false vinyl roses,
Some on a summer Saturday,
On a backyard patio where a hornet's nest
Under the deck bustles dizzyingly
Like a miniature New York,

They are all clustered here in passing
Under the flickering lights and effluvium,
Whatever they are, most wish they were not,
Many of those who don't become,
Wish they had
Though only when it seems too late.

Brian Le Lay is a poet based out of New York City. His first book of poems, Don't Bury Me in New Jersey, is available from Electric Windmill Books. His work has recently appeared in The Rusty Nail, Hobo Pancakes, and Drunk Monkeys. He blogs at