the subway smells of piss and lemons.

and I am riding along
and it’s running express
and there is a crumpled newspaper dying
on the seat across from me. it seems
to hold a shape impossible, and
I am writing guesses on slips of paper:

there is a dead pigeon underneath.
there is actual human fecal matter.
it smells of piss and port-a-potty,
it is compost.

a baby cries, it smells of piss.
there are no seats, it smells of piss.
yelling, piss
headache, piss
a man glares at me and piss
leaks from his eyes.

a woman’s nails
match her bag, match
her sweater, it smells
of lemons.

she smiles in her sleep,
a pretty smile, a pile
of lemons.

an old man listens
to quiet music,
nods his head. I

am not running late and
the subway’s not rocking,
and the woman across me
(the one in all orange)
may just
brush my hand
when she reaches her stop.
maybe Not.

in the meantime,
the newspaper’s fallen
all flat.

It was lemons.

It smells of lemons.

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