August Poem 12: Blue Brotherhood

Next to the turnstile, he flashed his badge

To the booth and pushed the handicapped gate.

The booth man leaned into the microphone.

“You ain’t one of ours. You pay like the rest.”

Badge in hand, Jenkins eyed a uniformed

Officer standing passed the gate keeping

The crowd back from the yellow safety zone.

Jenkins said, “Hey! Tell him to let me pas.”

The officer walked over. He looked at Jenkins

And his badge. Slightly shook his head. Looked to

The booth, and said, “Go on. Let the man through.”

The clerk rolled his eyes and buzzed Jenkins through.

The officer said, “The guy is an ass.

Jump the turnstile. The fuck’s he gonna do?”


August Poem 11: The Subway Station

In the subway terminal, Jenkins pulled

His shirt away from his chest and pumped it

Back and forth to circulate the cool air.

The air conditioner took the edge off

The triple digit temperatures of late

October. This Indian summer brought

A shroud of strangling humidity

Not unlike the lingering barnyard smell

Of body odor and urine of the

Typical subway stop. Not only was

There a long line to get through the turnstiles,

But the place was jammed with people standing

Around dripping sweat. Likely, most of them

Had stopped in to take a break from the heat.