Magazine article Tikkun

Winter Commute

Magazine article Tikkun

Winter Commute

Article excerpt

Dear friend, asleep

upright in a seat

when I boarded the train

goat-stepping over

your legs outstretched

why didn't I wake you

but instead watched

you sleep, watched over

you two seats away

but, no, merely

watched, still

life, face

no longer fresh

but a peach

sweet even

as skin loosens from

flesh flesh

from pit those little

wrinkles you can make

with a thumb-press

kissing the outer

orbit of your eyes

the longer lines


down crescent cheeks

your jaw relaxed

lips parted neat

compact woman's

body buttoned up

in business darks

foggy gray

starched contrasts

at neckline & cuff

what reprieve here

shuttling underground

before the courted

client you must meet

is met you're floating

somewhere where

the car's cold rays

can't reach, absorbed in

other versions, inversion

of a life

as when we watch

children sleep

so far from us

we don't dare wake them

in the uncontrollable


are you back there now

in your own deep new

episode without

pillow or comforter or

parent standing over

you at night but for

a few minutes at peace

with stolen rest

hurtling motionless

forgive me for not

sitting down beside you

placing a hand

softly on your tailored

arm to call you back

when all I could have

offered: weak pleasantries

phatic discharging

of routines impositions

variegated surfaces

of elected obligations

what does one

owe another

in common

what comfort what

welcome release

rehearsed in

the dark, dark clad

friend, foe,

Proserpina or Pluto


roles all play


in false fundament

decked out in

eye-open finery

embroidered so

elaborately it's ripped

right off our backs. …

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