reading Guy de Maupassant on the PATH
Hoboken platform       1993
just out of college
string of lights down one tunnel       paling       gone
my freshly-khaki’d butt in the hardwood slab
let’s call a bench       my yellowed book open       another
up the nearer tunnel       clattering to
a string of lights       mine       this morning

20 minutes early
to Battery Park       so I walk
uptown       pretend
I’m still me       the Hudson
an agitated storm tide       gray       as cheap ink
newsprint       centuries in the gathering
longer than any breath
to my left       under the under-
foot grate       the subway I didn’t transfer to
approaching then receding
its own little tide
three stories down
people arranged together       become a people
in their cars’ shared and inward internal lights       become
tidy and patient       a string of sound coiling
then releasing       bunching then breaking
going their own way       closed in on their own air
the same direction I am       this morning

Stuart Greenhouse lives in central Jersey with his family and a dog. Recent writing can be found in Boaat, Jellyfish Review, Laurel Review, North American Review, and Tinderbox.

*Image courtesy of The New York Public Library.