The Underground Man

On the subway, where the car jerks in tandem

To the flickering of the electric lights,

I saw a man sitting on the plastic chair.

The bluish light gave his lips cyanide tint

Reflected back from the glow of the screen

That he clutched so tightly, like a lifeline.

His cheeks were mottled; they reminded me of sausages,

Raw sausages speckled with snowy white fat.

He closed his eyes and I could see the blue of his veins

Spiderwebbing through the bags under his eyes.

His button-up may have been blue, or maybe white.

All over blue— I thought of a song about a blue man.

And I sat there on the subway seat beside him,

With my headphones in and pumping loud

To drown out the sound of his shuddering breaths.

When my stop came, I got off.

I did not look back at the blue man still sitting there

As the car hurtled into darkness.

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