MARYLAND TO NEW YORK
You felt liberated as a pink
pajama sleeve fell from your
shoulder to reveal a Victoria Secret
You were flirting with the man
seatedin seat number thirty-two.
You hugged your pillow
when the train rocked to your left.
We watched as a fat man’s stomach
deflate as air exited his mouth -
again his stomach filled with air as
his head jerked - his mouth now wide
open, his belly moved in and out,
in and out - hesitating - and he
leaned left toward seat number
thirty five - his head jerked right
he closed his mouth.
Air entered his nose as he began to
snore, his stomach sinking into his
seat - now seat number thirty-four.
The two men directly in front of us
kept changing directions,
leaning left - then right, and left again.
I elbowed you to keep watching when
both men simultaneously reached to
scratch fleshy scalps.
As the train twisted left - then right -
and left again - whells of metal continued
to hit the back of seat number forty-two
- heard brakes squael, your chair on wheels,
rammed against a woman exiting the ladies
room - rolled back to her - clipped her
knees, hitting the back of seat number
Glanced out of the window – so, not
to make eye contact with the woman
as she squeezed through the asile . . .
Instead, I watched the sunset - it
reminded me of the morning when you
spilled orange marmalade onto the uniform
of our waitress, when we were both
seated in booth four - your wheelchair
was neatly folded next to the front door.
November - brings night early. You - ready
to position your body for sleep - asking if
I would twist you like a tootsie roll.
My arms and hands pulled your lifeless body
toward the window of the train; your jeans
fell off your hips, you lost it - Miss
perfection - instead of laughing as heads
popped over seats, eyes watching us -
Never looked them square in the eye, besides
everyone was laughing - because you did.
You kept turning your eyes toward the wheelchair.
I knew it was new - paid way too much. But,
you ignored me when I told you not to worry,
pushing on your bare shoulder, holding up your
head, keeping you away from seat number thirty-two.
The train rocked back and forth, I held your head,
your shoulder too - so you wouldn't fall side
to side, or forward - refusing any kind of belt.
Your wheelchair rolled back toward the restroom,
back, hitting seat number forty-four.
You still wanted me to adjust your jeans.
The man began to snore - your chair rolled -
a train rocked - I had no idea how far we had
Nancy Duci Denofio
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