Subway poem #10

My train entered McPherson Square station
meeting another train headed to Virginia.
On the other side, I saw the face of a former lover,
looking down at her phone, or maybe a book.
She looks older, but so do I. Time passes quickly.
We had some good times, incredible sex,
endless arguments. And she would drink scotch
and smoke menthol cigarettes late into the night,
and I tried to do both, but self-destruction
wasn’t in my nature. She left and I let her go,
and breaking up was hard, uncertain, chilling
to know what I’d never experience again in quite
the same way, with the same passionate intent.
Two trains passed, pausing at an interim station.


A bit of December chill hurts my knees.
Up and down too many ladders on ships
and submarines when I was young.
Now I pay the price. My Greek Muse
is tapping me on the shoulder, “Write,
write something, damn it!” And I am
heating up yesterday’s Chinese leftovers
and sipping this morning’s coffee for lunch
while the ink dries.


Author: Raymond Maxwell Librarian, archivist, retired foreign service officer and Navy veteran.

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