on the subway

It’s a Fellini movie in here, jammed with people who look like out-of-work carnies grown old. That fat Russian man with the thick neck, he’s the strong man. I see the flowing orangey locks of a lion tamer, he’s reading the newspaper. There’s a stout woman with the sparkly makeup of the trapeze flyer, but she’s not swirling around the pole. A man whose nose would need little addition to play the clown leans against the door. One woman has a palsied face, her lips and eyes outlined in black, a bearded lady once, certainly. Sitting across from me is a tall dark man, his shaking hands holding a barker’s top hat in his lap. I know I’m staring at them. I am filled with wonder that might easily pass for rudeness. The train grinds into the station and the bearded lady gets up to leave. She leans down as she passes me and touches my face. “We were all beautiful once,” she says.

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2 Responses to “on the subway”


  1. 1 David Gray November 10, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Been missing you. Welcome back.


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