8th Street Station (Yin-Yang)

I met you
At the Grey Gallery
Across from Washington Square Park.
We were going to the opening
Of The Left Front: Radical
Art in the “Red Decade.”

We ate all the peanuts
And most of the chips
That were set out as snacks,
And drank way too much wine
Which seemed to annoy the NYU
Students who were serving us.
They gave us dirty looks
But didn’t actually
Say anything.

I left you and walked
Over to Broadway
To get an R Train home
Still pretty buzzed.

Inside the station
I went to the downtown end
Like I always do
To sit on the wooden bin
That’s been there for years.
But this time I couldn’t—
It was covered with trash
So I stood on the platform
And waited for a train.

A razor-thin tranny
Sporting a long blonde wig,
Nose ring and high-heeled boots
Walked over to the mess,
Glared at it, then furiously
Swept it away with her hands
Flinging Styrofoam cups
And sandwich wrappers
At everyone
Standing nearby.
I didn’t mean to stare
But her sudden rage
Took me by surprise.

“Don’t look at me, bitch!” she screamed.
“Do you want to get pushed
In front of a train
And die?”
She yanked a bottle
From her jacket pocket
And smashed it against the wall,
Just like in the movies,
Spraying glass everywhere
And dared me to attack her.
I looked in my bag
For my umbrella
Which I figured
I’d use as a weapon
If I had to.

Just then a train pulled into the station–
I got on, turned and shouted:
“I was on the wrestling team
In high school . . .”
But I couldn’t finish the sentence
Before the doors closed.

I looked out the window
As the train left the station
And saw her sitting
On the wooden bin
Lighting a cigarette.

DanielKolm_400

Photograph by Daniel Kolm

–Ron Kolm

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