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Loving in Latitude

January 30, 2013

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I recently witnessed an event on the Boston metro. I took some notes, and I’ve turned it into a poem. This is my first attempt at free verse, so no promises that it’s any good.

“Loving in Latitude”

Her eyes plow towards the right, then swing
Left.
Then glide again fitfully right, only to
Flit left.
But all the time, making steady
Progress
Downward.
Like some pair of unassuming bumble bees
Or hummingbirds
Supping their way down the garden rows.
But these wings
Beat far swifter than eighty times every second–
As innumerable synapses fire, and ions are
Shuffled
In that magical transformation whereby carbon on a page
Becomes a word,
a sentence,
a thought,
a pattern.
Matter                moves                mind.
And the soul is lifted,
Even more than some youtoobian
Double rainbow.

“Loving in Latitude”–
It’s printed on the book’s blue cover.
A cover that protects the still freshly white leaves,
A cover that is grasped
By ringless, slender white fingers
Of a strawberry blonde figure
With cesious hummingbird eyes,
A scarlet pea coat,
Indigo jeans,
And a pair of burnt umber boots.
A violet JanSport backpack lies at her feet,
With the small ribbon, pink as a crab,
Clasped tight to the pocket
By a safety pin,
And a small silver cross
Pierced nearby.
Those bees continue their typewriter path
Until
A man steps onto the metro car
Announcing
Like a loon
His current flight and dubious plight.
That herd of glazed gazing eyes, momentarily distracted
From their own mindless zigzag stares at the spaces outside
Turn,
Then,
Giving a condescending somersault,
Resume their thoughtless course.
So too the flock of young hens, pecking away at their iPhones
Stops for but a moment,
To return to their Angry Birds.
But the bumblebee in red,
Unzips the violet
And brings out her honey nut granola bar–
a study snack, no doubt–
And hands it to the loon
With a smile.
Just then
As the lurching, faded iron metro cars screech to my
stop
I step out into the barren coldness
Knowing I will never see the hummingbird again
But wondering if I too
Can learn to
Love in Latitude.

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