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.



"This poem is mostly anecdotal. I was visiting NYC and reading James Wright's Collected Poems at the time. The incident was so bizarre that I felt compelled to write about it, and since I had Wright on my mind, I tried to bring in some of his sympathy along with allusions to his work. I try to engage the work of poets that I admire in a way that isn't straight mimicry, and this seemed like a good opportunity for it."

Ariel Francisco is a Miami poet currently completing his MFA at Florida International University where he is assistant editor of Gulf Stream Literary Magazine. He is also a former Poet in Decadence at Gramps Bar in Wynwood. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Boiler Journal, Jai-Alai Magazine, Portland Review, Print-Oriented Bastards, Tupelo Quarterly, Washington Square Review, and elsewhere.