———on the platform at the 175th Street subway station,
Washington Heights———I find myself thinking I’m
Vladimir in Calvin Klein black lambskin and Estragon
in Tommy Hilfiger dim-gray chinos———sitting———
standing———leaning over the side———to peer up
the downtown track———into the tunnel———
watching for the bright blue Cyclops eye———its white
pupil the shape of the first letter of the alphabet———

“NYC Subway Chief Faces Reality Check in Push for Upgrades”
The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 20, 2018

———but the object of Vladimir and Estragon’s
anticipation doesn’t align with the object of mine
———that which I’m waiting for does, indeed,
arrive———on it I sit———I stand and grip a pole
———or lean against a door———counting
the stops———168th Street———145th Street———
standstill on the express track———125th Street———
—————————————————59th Street/
Columbus Circle———four to go———

“The head of New York City’s subway system has resigned”
Business Insider, Nov. 9, 2018

———hours later I’m on another platform———
sitting———standing———leaning over the side
———to peer down the uptown track———
watching for the bright blue Cyclops eye———
to head back to 175th Street———

“MTA preparing another fare hike starting next year”
New York Post, Nov. 15, 2018

———then I’ll cross the G.W. Bridge———
to New Jersey———and leave behind sitting
———leave behind standing———leave behind
leaning over———to peer up and down tracks———
until the next time I’m on the 175th Street platform———
and think I’m Vladimir in a Cooper navy peacoat
and Estragon in Wrangler blue jeans———

–Joel Allegretti



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