READING JAMES WRIGHT ON THE L TRAIN
Below the river, Brooklyn bound,
I hold his poems in one hand
and the cold overhead bar in the other,
reading to myself on the crowded
evening train when a sudden heaving
pulls me from the text. I look up
to see a young man seated with his head
lolling between his knees to the rhythm of the train,
Yankee cap pulled low over his face,
vomiting onto his shoes. Everyone
scatters to the adjacent compartments,
lift scarves up to their noses as they exit.
The vomit stretches like an evening shadow
down one end of the car and I walk towards
the other, lay down on a now vacant bench.
The train sways lightly like a hammock.
Beneath a sun-marred window blossoming
with jewels of frost, I begin to read aloud.