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In a Station of the Metro

Michael Gushue

Conrad tangles his commute, hardens
his heart contra eye contact, gets pulled
maelstromward, peels out towards open

water, barnacles himself to the perfect
platform spot, sledges through closing
train doors, gets anchovied into place.

Released upstream, Conrad hurdles
rapids turnstiling outflow. Turbulence
boils up to the air, Conrad in tow.

Out on the pavement, in the bite of the air,
the winter light syrups the streets.
Conrad’s gulag slog slows. He stalls.

Along the empty boulevard, the sun
butters windows apricot, glazed
streets a wash of copper, gold leaf.

For just this moment, Conrad is an axe
with a broken haft, a bent nail, a lost
word migrating to its hall of shadows.

These are the days of abandonment.
These are the days we believe in,
because these are the days we have.

Michael Gushue

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