Subway Swan Song
N Train - 7:32pm:
A young couple stands in front of me on the train.
Their love is new, they are still shy;
but jaded New Yorkers eye them warily.
Happy young lovers aren't appreciated in winter.
He laughs, delighted:
"You're making that face you make when you're lying!"
She blushes, protesting!
He smiles widely, hands grasping her hipbones.
"No, I can tell. You're trying to protect my feelings."
He is touched by this; he adores her.
He loves her "lying" face.
I imagine them having this conversation again,
sometime in a darker future moment.
I imagine them unsmiling; her protests more adamant,
not met, this time, with laughter.
The accusation is heated, born not of insecurity,
but a moment of truth.
I imagine it again;
their hair flecked with gray and their bodies gone soft,
no hipbones to speak of.
He wordlessly observes that face he knows too well
and averts his eyes,
accepting the truth of her lies in silence,
and remembers that day on the subway
when they had their whole lives ahead of them.
Copyright 2017 by Ali Skye Bennet. No portion may be reproduced without permission from the author.