Man And Me, Defiance

Man and Me

His gaze is soft and heavy;
the weight of his brow
hangs loose over his droopy eyes.

Soft wisps of hair
escape from his withered blue hat.

His worn dusty hands
lie low by his knees.
I watch as his body contorts into a small ball.

I see urine spilling from his legs,
a trail of regret and hopelessness
slowly creeping towards me.
The train ignites and chugs forward.

I want to step back and away
from fear of the unknown
and the stench
of sulfur and vomit

and yet

I stay and observe.
I become engrossed with this man,
watching with a hint of disgust
and wonder.

His legs lie limp,
spent and forgotten.
His eyes roll around
in their sockets
like marbles in a pinball machine.

Many others ignore him
or take the other car,
all the while
looking the way I look.

New sets of eyes
peer down
on me.

I see their reflection
translucent against the black
of the windows.
I see them hovering together,
removed from the
man and me.

I stand alone,
like him.

Except I’m too close,
closer than the others
to him.

We are in a way
Comrades.

Knowingly setting each other
apart
from everyone else.

And then again,
we are different.

I stand here
warm in my
winter coat,

while he shivers
from coldness.

I look at myself,
again.

I switch cars at the next stop.

Defiance

Heated blood
pumped through his veins.

He thought he possessed her;
he thought she was his.

But his hot iron fist
could not brand
her emboldened mind
and brazen spirit.

Nor could his violent words
dissuade her
from being her.

He painted her skin
a wide range of colors

and caressed her heart
with sharpened knives.

So she left him
with soaring wings.

Leaving broken chains behind.

He now wastes away,
alone,
left to burn in the cauldron
of their so-called love.

Shriveling up to ashes
until he is nothing,
until he is just dust.

Monica Chin, Age 17, Grade 12, Baruch College Campus High School, Silver Key

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