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the Subway (standard:poetry, 288 words)
Author: Victor D. LopezAdded: Jun 21 2013Views/Reads: 1447/910Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Free verse about the Fulton Street Subway Station in Brooklyn New York in the late 1970s. The poem, while descriptive of a real place, is intended as a metaphor for the darker side of life in any large city where human suffering is tamped down beneath the

The Subway 

I stand alone in the dark Fulton Street subway station, 

Breathing in the urine-scented air, 

Breathing out clouds of steam, 

A subway train rushes along, 

Not stopping, 

Biting at my eardrums, 

With the painful percussion, 

Of thousands of people, 

Silently screaming, 

I don't want to see, 

I don't want to see, 

I don't want to see, 

The air fanned by each subway car, 

Rushes against me, 

Pushes the ozone and the smell of burnt brake linings, 

Into my nostrils, 

Along with the air, 

Sucked through the iron gratings, 

Along miles of Brooklyn sidewalks, 

Carrying the odor of a prostitute's festering sores, 

And the cries of a hungry, fatherless child in dirty diapers, 

And the hoarse moaning of a city councilman mentoring a young intern, 

And the cheap perfume of a fourteen year-old runaway, 

Turning $20 tricks in an alley, 

Smelling of stale Chinese food and wet dogs, 

And . . . 

I don't want to see, 

I don't want to see, 

I don't want to see, 

. . . the smell of spoiled cabbage soup, 

And the rancid remains of a hotdog buried in sourkraut, 

And putrid lilies lying in a gutter, 

All assaulting me, forcing me backwards, 

Until my back presses against, 

The grimy once-white tiles, 

That coldly burn their graffiti on my spine: 

God is dead, 

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