Morning Commute

By Ben Groner III 

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To go back to last week
____and tell my subway self it is ok to make
________eye contact: the eyes of the terrified

beseech. If only I had smiled at her,
____introduced myself (never mind the stutter),
________made that self-deprecating joke

I’ve been saving, then maybe she
____would’ve laughed and caused eyes
________to flit up and dart around, and the

musician next to her could’ve
____added his two cents, and she might’ve
________pointed to his saxophone, and perhaps

he would’ve begun to play, and surely the
____other passengers would’ve stared and chuckled
________and clapped until the hurtling hearse filled with

________music and movement and touch and dance—

I am on the ‘L’ now, departing for downtown, and
____cannot hear the violinist playing against the station walls,
________unnoticed, to the left of the descending stairs.

Ben Groner III