April 29, 2012
April 30: In a Metro Station (Washington D.C.) by Mitchell L.H. Douglas

In a Metro Station (Washington, D.C.)

Even the Angels mock you,
your drunken hopscotch

in the well of the tracks.
Gasps win over silence

on your first dive, gleam
of your bald head a pointer

to disaster. Relief
comes when you ascend

the center platform,
but seeing you dive again

into the depths of the track before me
brings cries of disbelief,

like you’re a glutton for death—
as if it’s not enough

you cheated once.
Leaving the third rail hungry,

you rise
w/ the casual air

of a wader in pool,
a bird from bath,

the platform @ my feet
the wet bough. You

stumble right
after the woman

who fueled the risk,
& the Angels shake their heads,

adjust red berets
as the green line arrives

on time.

 

—Mitchell L.H. Douglas (Marion County)

Photo by Eliza Griffiths

Mitchell L. H. Douglas is the author of Cooling Board: A Long-Playing Poem and the forthcoming blak al-fə bet, winner of the 2011 Persea Books Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor’s Choice Award. He is a Cave Canem fellow, cofounder of the Affrilachian Poets, and Assistant Professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

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