Waiting at Chatelet Station
Waiting at Châtelet Station
by Arun Sagar
Smells of sweat and leather blend
and seep out from the corners, like stains
on summer’s yellowed cloth. I avoid
a beggar’s bowl, his grimy socks. Old
lecher. How he stares at the girls,
his eyes level with their summer legs.
Now a train arrives. A woman’s face
grows vivid in a pane, but it’s just
a stranger glancing at ads behind me,
loose hair caressing her cheek.
The doors startle with their snap,
the train roars out; its vacuum-rush
brings absence flooding down the track
as if all the waiting up ahead –
for other trains, at other stations –
had burst through its reservoir
and come gushing over me. Love,
step out on your way back, lift
your skirt a little. Throw me a coin.
-refers from the word train in Rose Auslander’s poem New Year’s Rush