From Issue 12: Continued

Mehrnoosh Torbatnejad
 
We slid in our seats,
grips slipped violently
from poles as the train
broke speed,
without the measured slow
to the station
In the last cart
we looked through windows
to graffiti tunnels,
waiting for the whir
of conductor’s script
to rouse rush hour exhaustion
But the hum of operation ceases,
commands passengers
to hurry
to the small piece of platform
And like impatient children
on a school trip,
we heave ahead,
keeping doors in between
open with tired elbows,
while track maps lose
the trace of tourist fingers
Then the piercing warning
of the orange vest employee,
screaming to the curious exiting,
Don’t look! Don’t look!
as the band of firefighters
reach into gaps for surrendered body
He was pulled alive, we learn
the next morning;
his thoughts before he opens his eyes
to the resumption of life,
to the memory of rescue,
to the gruesome sound
of continued breathing,
something like:
don’t look, don’t look
 
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Mehrnoosh Tobatnejad was born and raised in New York.  Her poetry has appeared in Passages North, Chiron Review, The Commonline Journal, Kudzu House Quarterly, Narrative Northeast, and is forthcoming in HEArt Journal, Natural Bridge, and Pinch Journal. She currently lives in New York and practices matrimonial law.