"mom," he says. silence. “MOM.” she stares ahead. “MOM!!” she is a zen master.
she hauls groceries. a man looks at them, hungry. she offers him some.
she slumps into a seat at day’s end, takes off her shoe, rubs her foot.
she blushes when she pulls off her headphones, hearing how loud her songs were.
the driver lines the trolley up with the stairs, to guide the blind woman.
two lovers gaze at each other like they haven’t yet left bed today.
dad play-punches his young son, urging him to fight back. the boy just laughs.
"ma," a six-year-old boy says: “do it, or i’ll call you a bitch again!”
mom puts two toddlers in one seat, tries to balance baby on their laps.
my headphone cord brushed his leg. slowly, coldly, he sliced me with his eyes.
"then i said," she tells her friend, giggling: “shut up, you dumb oxy-MORON!”
he offers his seat to a young mom. she glares, like: “i can handle this.”
she boards with a cup of coffee in each hand, a bag under each eye.
i’m in my own world, then realize the guy ahead is wielding a gun.
scared passengers dash back, torn between safety and curiosity.
"i don’t care about me,” she says of the crazed man. “but, god, my baby.”
"he deserved it," he says of the guy at gunpoint. “shouldn’ta messed with ‘im.”
she applies make up. the trolley bounces. lipstick drags across her cheek.
he talks about how he wants to torture kittens: “y’know, normal guy stuff.”
he asks, “d’ya know what’s over there?” she says no. “the mothership,” he says.
his kids are quiet, well-behaved - but he struggles to wrangle his bike.
first-year college kids panic when they think they’ve missed the campus train stop.
i want to laugh at the guy with the yoga mat trying to look calm.
he offers his seat to a father and child. his voice sounds gay. they balk.
i listen as he calmly explains to his friend what a potluck is.
her bags are so big they box her in. he squeezes next to her, heedless.
a little boy stares fixedly out the window, even when in tunnels.
he opens his mail and drops each envelope on the floor carelessly.
she has an entire meal platter balanced on her lap, and smacks her lips.
she drops an earring and actually gets down on her knees to find it.