19 July 2010

Tortuous

I was on the subway and watched a woman scream and hit her kids for several stops.

It was insanely uncomfortable.


Tortuous 7/19

Her hands are chalky
You notice the knuckles – swirling knots
                        blights on oak branches
She’s leaning and the kids are fighting
You notice the knuckles cause they rise – an arc
                        over the metal grate of subway
And they land on the back of the closest kids head
The crack is louder than spark firing on the third rail
                        than the un-oiled wear
The pause – while the kid isn’t breathing
                        while the whole train is watching

See we’re waiting for the screaming to start
For the tears to well up
Anything

The kid breathes in for everyone – the
                        biggest inhale ever
And cracks tender twig-knuckles across
                        his mother’s face