Wednesday, December 11, 2013

poem of the day 12.11.13


she is putting on deodorant
which is typically a normalized act
but she’s doing it on the d-train to manhattan
right across from me
as i’m listening to mozart’s 39th in my headphones
she’s putting on deodorant
not even from the neck to the armpit
but from under her shirt
the shirt half up
her single fat roll an exposed white blob over her belly
the bottom of her navy blue bra showing
a dead look in her eye as she watches me watching her
as she rolls the deodorant
giving her fragrance to the d-train
it’s musk, i think, or rain water or fresh linen
she’s been doing it for two stops now
as the train rumbles above and through brooklyn
smearing a sea of black sky and christmas lights below us
she must have a cake of deodorant slathered on her pits by now
i can almost see it flaking off of her
and resting in the side of the fat roll
i try going back to the mozart but i can’t
i’m fascinated by this
although no one else on the train seems to be looking
something as simple and common as putting on deodorant
has me in its grasp
like i’ve never seen someone do this before
me or my wife my old man or kids after gym class
the 39th symphony will never be the same for me
new doors of perception have been opened
new freedoms that i’m anxious to explore
that i’ll equate it with summer scents on late autumn nights
with this woman’s flabby stomach and her blue bra
with the orange soda she swills
in whatever hand is not applying the deodorant
with her face an empty canvas
no joy no exhaustion no anger no fear no burden
and with the packaged sandwich resting half-open on her seat
to be eaten after this task is complete
that has me ready to shout aloud
what next america!
what next!


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