i love the annoyed collective scoff when the car stops dead underground.
three teenage girls pass a camera full of prom pictures back and forth.
an old man wears a daisy tucked into the band of his fedora.
she hands her son - who is in a jaw brace - a stick of gum to chew on.
he sings to himself, songs with choruses of, “that’s how a bitch gets shot!”
“i love reruns of seinfeld,” she says. four women screech, “no soup for you!”
now and then i smell fellow riders’ food, and crave fried chicken, or ribs.
every boy with a beard makes me think of my ex. this means: many boys.
“i don’t know what to say i believe in,” she says. “jewish isn’t right.”
a tourist with a southern drawl asks, “does this thing go any faster?”
“let me off,” she cries, turns, announces, “i’m going… to the HOSPITAL!”
“yo,” she says gruffly, and offers the young mother a place to sit down.
taking a new line is like visiting a new city. i get lost.
the man brings a full picnic aboard, and leaves a whole trash mound behind.
there’s no polite way to tell her i see her weave, so i hold my tongue.
two women, spaced by forty years, hold a long talk on an aloe plant.
no number of signs will teach people to step down to leave the trolley.
he changes seats like musical chairs, no seatmate good enough for him.
she rushes in front of me to board, then takes her time getting inside.
i have terrible etiquette; i wrap my arm around the hand bar.
i never knew how to keep talking ‘til i heard them discuss nothing.
“i’m getting off soon,” she explains, and holds ground for thirty city blocks.
his dirty look is perfection. his space is more valuable than ours.
the trolley halts in darkness, and an iPod fills the heavy silence.
the train comes above ground. the kid announces, “we’re in the outside now.”
a man in army gear talks about class with a woman in sweatpants.
on the platform he barks, “i ain’t tryin’ to be late.” well, sir, clearly.
a stranger, in one talk, calls me not just “sugar,” but “honey,” and “sweets.”
the city year kids are off duty; the car is splashed with red jackets.
i want to calm the people who stress over bumps. we’re in a train car.
she leans to look down the tunnel; she sees light and cries, “thank you jesus!”