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subway_kiss

“Get a room!”
Roared a hoarse voice
In Brooklyn.

I held you while
Steam hissed from the sewers
Mufflerless cars screamed and stank
And subterranean train cars
Shuddered the street.

The morning trains ran late
We’d run even later
Hastily to the Avenue
Where the subway stole you from me.

We kissed.

“Get a room!”
If the owner of that voice
Were 34 and smitten
As we were, he’d know
We had a room –

Centimeters wide – that space
Between my cheek and yours
Where your noiseless breath warmed me.

The soundlessness between us
Was defiance itself —
Confronted everywhere
By rising sounds .
Against intimacy, New York
Is a city in opposition.

That space, that hush –
So easy between us
Was a haven for inaudible whispers.
Our small, soft prison
Where cacophony was shackled,
Where all the sound in the world
Was at once enslaved to silence.

Our room was an island
Indifferent strident tones advanced around us.
An inundating army at sea, an armada
A fleet of angry Greeks

Their series of discordant ships
Ranged the horizon,
Aboard each, an eager phalanx
Raging with Sound.

Their sailors’ severe looks
Were locked and blank and dull,
Stoical, identical to a man,
Inconsolate, eager Greeks,
Lining their long brown hulls
Their wide and lidless, opaque eyes
Full of dull lust and tedious appetite,
Gravely regarded our haven.

Their bronze limbs beating
Each shield in an arrhythmic
War-cry disharmony,
Decibels rose like arrows against us, we were
Beseiged by discordance.

Their rattling of their javelins
Endeavored to distract us.
Their rows of Thracian helmets
Made each a bronze bust:
A study in crude idolatry
Worshipping as they did
Their varied pantheon – Sound, Distraction, Zeus,
Pan’s prosaic and off-key lyre.
Sarah Lesley, did you know
The snowy forms we know of Athens
The sculptures at The Met were once
Rimed with bright paint?

How those Bronze anonymous masses
Wished purchase for our shore
But were driven nonetheless
Back.
As Odysseus was driven from Ithaca,
They are gently repelled
By a sympathetic sea
From our quiet island.
Its red flag
Was your rose flush.

We kissed.

Somewhere, reclined,
A grandfatherly jailor
Stirred from his nap and noted
The old familiar look.
Smiling, he palmed
His velvet-covered key.

Elsewhere, Athenians screamed
Their roaring growing softer.
Armadas receded at sea.

© Eric Robert Nolan 2013

*****

Todays featured piece is another one from Eric Nolan. Fast becoming one of our regular featured writers, this piece once again features his prosaic, storytelling style of poetry. A piece that talks of love and passion, which breathes out the essence of the city, Eric employs surprising, original imagery to great effect here, turning the seemingly mundane crowding humanity around the subjects into something else, something eminently more poetic. In doing so, Eric takes the subject matter and turns it into something more epic, something purer, and something much more significant, which is a fitting tribute to poetic love.

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(Image source – www.markushartel.com )

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