Poetry and Music

Light Rail


I find aubades in curtains, blushed and river-hued,

in these high-strung bricks of a Harlem still slightly

un-gentrified, just south of 125th, just west of Lex:

as we cross the river, sometimes the sun strikes prisms


to pause the series, lost to a neutral shade or the wary

squint of a blind; and sometimes I find another leave-taking

in the gladioli dawning from a canvas bag,

their fervent ripeness clutched in a man’s hand, a man


who loves to make the same woman laugh

every morning in the seconds before they leave the train,

the flowers brilliant against her skin, as if caught

in panes of gentle lies like petals among leaves.


Shimmering less than light, glowing with sated hungers,

the tunnel silvers glass to ghost my face, where I

might have swallowed these goodbyes as the sun,

the stars, or the stripped stem of a rose searing and lacerating


the pulsing of my thoughts. Scored by windows, flowers,

lovers, palettes without a brush, I am unable

to do more than weep and breathe into my heart,

too ready to blame and to curse what I became


through becoming this through becoming here

through becoming who I have become.



Gina Rae Foster, 2017 (all rights reserved)