On A New York City Subway Ride

ON A NEW YORK CITY SUBWAY RIDE

I.

Mistaken youth offer,
inherited crowns
to disowned rap lyrics,
bobbing, bobbing,
Mariachi band
plays.

An aged Oriental, packed
into orange grocery bags
of battery-powered afternoons,
tongue-catching sea-reeked awning drops,
sleeps:
Head bobbing,
bobbing,
Mariachi band leaves.

II.

When pushed, step hard
on black-polished shoe.
When pushed again, toward window scene
of wall painted by reckless hero
of sober classrooms and light
-headed younger siblings,
of glass metamorphoses
against stringed instrument breasts, and child eyes
dribble down angry, somnolent mother
comforts in threats born of lesser honored promises,
pushed, to make lovers’ hand hold
uncomfortable in context
of deafening newborn,
then bow toes
into ballet resolve,
and step harder.

Alexa Suarez, Age 15, Grade 11, Stuyvesant High School, Silver Key

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