Subway, heading home.
Issued from the earth and riding
into sun patches.
Willow branches droop down
from the grey banks of the tracks
over the noisome streams of orange,
red, and white graffiti.
Passengers’ eyes scan passing walls
like sight readers searching furiously
for unintelligible melody.
Manage the circuitous route,
its daily labors at each end.
Quiet the rumbling, press play.
Louis’ trumpet climbs to mind above
the noxious friction of tracks and brakes.
Like a familiar code, brass sunlight taps
between the gaps in the high towers.
His mumbles stumble forth
one after another
swaying like wet sweaters, dresses, and tux
tails on clothes drying lines
mingling with the winds.
Flowers I can’t name stretch
over the lip of a windowsill
to stare into the swooning sun.
I will not sing,
but I am tempted.
I do not laugh,
but then I do.