Archive for the 'women and men' Category



on the subway

He’s standing by the doors as we cross over the bridge in the morning’s clear light. He’s wiry and unshaven. He looks at me just a beat too long. Then his gaze drifts back to his girlfriend, her back is to me. She tugs a hank of her long dark hair. He shrugs, and raises a flat hand to the level of her chin. He wants to change her. She shakes her head. They’ve been holding hands but now he drops hers and turns back to the view of the wide river. She keeps looking at him as he rests his temple on the glass and watches the blue girders of the bridge flash by. She puts her fingers on his chest, and getting no response she settles back. He looks at me again, his eyes say: it would be different if it was you. But he is wrong. Who among us is happy?

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in midtown

There’s a plain-faced couple lingering by the subway steps, they’re pressed close and kissing softly. It’s lovely to watch, it makes you want to kiss the next person who walks by. But no one else sees them. Everyone is late for work, or dazzled by the neon lights.

on the corner

Me and that drug dealer, we say hello all the time. He’s management, you can tell because he’s never drunk on the job. This time I walk by and one of his boys says, “got a fine ass on her.” The dealer thwacks the boy’s hat off his head and says, “don’t talk about her like that, she NICE.”

at the grocery store

I catch the manager watching hungrily as the checkout girl bends down to pick up a dropped coin. He and I stare at each other a moment. I would like it to be okay for him to appreciate her, but it isn’t, because he is the boss and you can tell by his face he uses that for what he can. Something, this or else the heat, leaves me nauseous.

on the stoop

There’s a couple arguing. His voice breaks like a boy’s as he says, “Yeah, and what exactly did you do about it?” She stands silent, her head tipped away from him, chin askew. There’s nothing so impassable about her, but you can tell she’s going to win.

on the subway

First a woman stretched her arms out behind her and groaned a little, releasing the day from her shoulders, pulling her shirt tight across her lovely round breasts. Then another woman shifted her hips and the waist of her skirt slid down past the knob of her hip, revealing a crescent of pale flesh. An Asian man with a boyish face and an elegant suit averted his eyes, shaking his head and smiling with incredulity at these wonders, and how he was expected to act as though he did not see them.