Houston Street Station
ItŐs 5:17pm,

the curve of my feet meet the concrete steps.

I climb down into the underground passageways.

 

The turnstile teeth await me,

granting entrance with a swipe of my MetroCard.

 

Two side platforms and four tracks span:

like my seclusion stretches across seasons. 

I plant myself to stare at the sea of professional and tourist garb –

until he – becomes fixed in my line of sight.

We lock eyes – slow, steady,

his gaze holds mine,

as the shadows of arches stand between us like mournful bridges in Central Park on winter evenings, contrary to the luminous Washington Square arch in Greenwich Village. Damp air hovers in the enclosed space, creating a suction-like container. I smell the mixture of diluted urine, Gucci cologne, fresh pavement and the notable failure of bathing.  In my peripheral vision, the mouth of the tunnel opens, giving entrance to herds ill with a plague or on their way to drown themselves.

Trains echo in the distance, 

stilettos clack behind me.  His face glows in the dim light.

Our steady gaze – remains tender and eager.

Lustful beginnings:     
                                                                       
cool suds gliding down the back of our throats.

We drifted, like pockets of rain sailing along the oceanŐs coast.

Black lagoons, chestnut eyes, caressing freckles between

thighs. Lips pressed to a meeting place. Deep-seated

bathtubs inviting shapely legs to slink downward,

into a bouquet of citrus oils.


 

Domestic partnership:

I am bound by routine Mondays,

Wednesdays and Sundays. His dimples so

simple and clever, like natural treasures found

on rain-pocked, surf-washed sand. On Thursdays,

we remain  tucked under blankets – calves no longer

intertwined. Sylvester, our Pomeranian,

curls himself atop your chest, quietly dreaming.

Break-up:

The morning light warms my cheek.

I outstretch my arms to discover no one.

Peeling myself off the mattress and into

the bathroom – I see a note:

This isnŐt working. You know it,

I know it. I moved out. Goodbye.

P.S. I took the dog, he hates you.

After a few seconds, I wipe the sleep

and sadness from my eyes. My rested legs

carry me down to the empty kitchen. I chop

green onions, crack farm fresh eggs and

slice Shiitake mushrooms as the

 

 

black tea leaves

                                    soak

                                                            down

                                                                                    deeper

                                                                                                            and

                                                                                                                                    deeper.

The chatter of the trains wheels smacking against the tracks,

reels me back.

The once stale air perks up,

tickling my skin.

The headlights hurtle toward us,

obscuring the outline of his body,

as the lights retract themselves into sluggish motion.

We are forced to play peek-a-boo between car train windows;

the train screeches to a stop – I drag my feet forward to enter

and squeeze among the mob.  

Alone again.

I press my forehead to the window to catch a final glimpse,

before the mosaic trim lines of the station walls break

off

and darkness expands.  

 

 

From Me to You

I met you under an evening beauty –

                        hues of papaya and rose saturated the sky above our minds.

Heat syncopated between our bodies,

like the stylus of a vinyl scratching across the surface.

I held your hand in mine,

a wholesome life playing on a reel

            started spinning in my mind.

Our lips were closed and our foreheads touched.

We heard rain falling from rooftops,

            drizzling down the corners of the abandoned house,

you told me this meant that the sky still loves

                                                                        the ground.

That night –

we found a single standing wooden door.

            We pressed our naked bodies

                        so close to the door that we became a part of it.

You on one side.                                                                                          Me on the other.

 

I opened the door to search for your eyes in the moonlight,

                                                but your eyes just searched.

 

Strands of your hair danced in the crisp air, sailing

            away, you sailed away from me.

 

 

 

Now – insomnia greets me at 2:32am, 4:17am, 6:41am –


I lay on the floor pressing rewind

                        rewind

            rewind,

like someone moving the stylus always to the song before.

 

Like a mirage in my head,

I sometimes chase you.

I linger and thirst for you,

wondering if you are what I need.

 

Your muddy footprints garnish the floors beneath my

                        naked body, and I wonder why –

                        itŐs only me behind this locked door.

 

You pulled your worn grey sweater over that perfect head of yours

and left me, with the silver key in your back

p

o

c

k

e

t.

Like the grains of wood on this locked door,

I swear I see your dimples pressing through,

reaching for my lips – while my lips for the nape of your neck.

The oak aroma reminds me of your natural scent,

brushing across my eye lashes,

like the cool breezes that no longer reach me.

 

 

 

I hear the trains howling in the distance,

            while my sanity escapes me.

            Your face is fading in the dim light.

I no longer see the freckles clustered beneath your left eye.

Sun spots painted on your lower back, eight gray hairs living in your bangs –

it's gone. I am alone and you're gone.

 

            I hope one day you find the key,

                                                            nestled close to lint,

                                                                                    tucked inside the back pocket

                                                                                    of your skinny legged jeans.

                        And only then,

                        can you remember,

                                                            that you are the     sky

                                                                                                and I, am                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  your ground.

                                   





© Amanda Trujillo

Amanda Trujillo  is an upcoming poet and a student at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. Poetry is built into her identity and she would not know how to operate in the world without it.