On the metro today, Red line
between Metro and Union
I saw a girl
Who reminded me so much of you
I looked four times.
She was beautiful but
tangibly sad, pained as she listened
to her music and these expressions
were never you.
I realized I am not a man for the city
I can live in one for a moment
or spin briefly
in its orbit, but now it takes me
a whole ride to get my legs back
to find the right grip
on the handle, to shift my weight
from knee to knee
as the car
sheds inertia, lurches finally,
stops – disgorges me into these
long stone bowels,
the guts and organs of DC
which might as well be
the offal of New York
or London or Paris or any great city.
I am neither organ nor
I am junk food being slowly
digested and I cannot hope
except at dimmest edges
I am not made for the brightness
I followed a coffin truck today
on the exit for home with two
full bags of groceries in the seat behind me
The slogan read “because you care,”
but I don’t, I think.
I learned very well how to wait
in rooms done in light green
soft blue, purple so faded
it was nearly tan. I read John’s Gospel
so many times the words blurred
into cyphers, alien runes.
In those rooms I wrote poems,
I measured stress and found
its terminal elasticity.
_________________________________________________________________________ About the author:
Daniel M. Ford is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. He received an MFA in Poetry from George Mason University in 2008. His poetry has appeared in Phoebe, Floorboard Review, Ginger Piglet, and The Cossack. His first novel, the first in a fantasy trilogy, will be published in 2016 by SFWP. He teaches in rural Maryland.