Here is another urban (or city) poem that I didn’t add to the Urban portraits series I did a some posts back. If the Copley Station described here looks inauthentic that’s because it’s done for a reason.
Subway: Copley Square
The Green Line whistles
to a momentary pause
beneath Copley Square.
As the doors hiss open,
one can feel the underground
heat stick like velcro to
one’s clothes; smell —
the warm sweat hanging in the
air like a noose, the violent meeting of
hissing wheels on archaic tracks
and somewhere close, the delightful
stench of morning coffee and baking pretzels;
hear — a blind saxophonist blasting his breath away,
rats scurrying on the tracks, dim light bulbs,
busy shoes and the railcar doors hissing shut behind
me before chugging off — to where I can not tell.
But he who daringly jumps the turnstiles before me,
his aim, if not his end, can be assumed.
In tow, the policemen’s whistles blow.
One can only observe them leap over a law
so stringently enforced.
The turnstile-jumper sprints, he leads the chase,
barreling toward the approaching pit…
He halts, leaning over the yellow safety line
as the next train clocks frantically in,
and is cuffed and hauled away.
Thus concludes another hour in the subway,
this sub-city street wonderland.
(Where things are more exciting
below ground than above.)