Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I’m sitting on the train home from work,

across from a man, his yellowing

beard flecked with tobacco stains

that match the ones on his hands

and face. He’s coated in a layer of

urban grime.

His hands rest on the handle of

a kelly green oxygen tank as if

it where a knotted wooden

walking stick. Vibrant tattoos,

spayed across his old skin

like graffiti on the side of an

abandoned building.

Four right angles hooked together

like a barrel of monkeys, smaller

ones wrap in a chain

from his wrist to his elbow

like Christmas lights wrap a tree.

The points look like legs jutting out

or barbed wire.

What would he think

if he knew that a black man

just gave up that seat?

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