A woman cries on the A

You want to hold her. You want her
to disappear. This is how you feel

about most people. She undoes
her hands, reaches the left

to stifle a breath. She takes
in so much, you worry

none will remain. You too,
are one to cry in public alone.

Where to put your eyes?
You think of your mother.

Her blue robe crusted with black dye.
The days she couldn’t rise, weeks

she moved only for solitaire, mahjong.
Woman who lived

off String Theory, Darwin, feasting
on Cheerios, singing herself small

Bangla prayers, but she knew god
was a lie, and everything that wove,

wove between you. Silence—
a punishment, a freedom.

She had no one.
You had her.

*

On the train, you catalogue touch—
a father, his baby’s sleeping belly—the only.

No one moves toward the woman.
No one moves toward you. You think

of the weight. The days you can’t and can’t.
How much you’ve taken

from your mother. How much she lives
in you. Her body

like your body
like this woman’s body.

 

There is a pact we’re not making.
Retreating as we do to our sterile machines,

void expanding. But think
what was made of small things

and a ruin of space. The moon,
debris made whole, stone

that stays and stays. Stay. Please.
I will inherit what you leave. Gravity

longing to collide. All of us
conjoined, mouthing autonomy.


Image Credits: Nika Gedevanishvili