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BOP WITH A REFRAIN TAKEN FROM JONATHAN SAFRAN FOER (poem) - Ravi Shankar - India/USA - Poetry International
 
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BOP WITH A REFRAIN TAKEN FROM JONATHAN SAFRAN FOER
Half-past on the 9:07 local to New Haven, the Bronx
tenements pent in vaguely post-apocalyptic paragraphs
rushing past too fast to cohere into prose, leaving loops
of graffiti, marred and boarded windows, a hoops game
glowing yellowish in the mercury vapor of street lights,
a Pontiac Bonneville, tireless, jacked up on cinder blocks.
 
Time waving like a hand from a train I wanted to be on.
 
Riding a train embodies democracy. Not like cramped,
dank seats of a bus or on the highway where cars mark
the demographic by make and model, here everything
is equalized, time and space included. The post-punk 
pierced girl, ears plugged with music, sits next to a man,
silk cravat loosened, fixated on his snuff box, providing
the grand illusion of temporal continuity, the centuries
stacked one on top of the other, a set of encyclopedias.
 
Time waving like a hand from a train I wanted to be on.
 
Slouched in the seat, westbound, my forehead pressed
to the scratched up window, rapidly being carried away
from the city, something important recedes, something 
else coheres, but I can’t seem to conjure a single word
as to what these might be, why I’m filled with such vast,
implacable sadness. I just want to get home, go to sleep. 
 
Time waving like a hand from a train I wanted to be on.