following a train of thought on the mrt
Reading this, your time has not come. Neither
has your destination, no matter how hard
you tap your feet, clutch at the handrails.
You've run out of New Paper, passed Streat
after street, had enough already of Today.
You stand clear of the doors, note the stops, hijack
a seat by pretending like everyone else, to be dozing.
The train takes long slow breaths. A young woman
next to you, riding the locomotion of sleep,
allows her hair to fall in curlicues of black
on your shoulder, in whiffs of fresh shampoo,
air-conditioning, skipped lunches and loneliness.
Leaning by the door, a boy and a girl are laughing
so hard they forget they're holding hands still
in uniform. One watching lady frowns, from memory
or despair, it's hard to tell. This guy standing so close his
crotch is at eye level, chatters sweet nothings into space
courtesy of Nokia. Trapped in posters, celebrities
grin endlessly. If the train crashed now
names would have no meaning. Instead you'd notice
this red dress, that purple shirt, a bra-strap out of place
before the screams, barked orders, tears, and later
cameras. Still, you might be spared
the unenviable questions. You could ride on
through the quiet tunnels, to where the night sky
is absolute, dream dark and free of stars.
28 September 2001 22:42 hours