One stop before I get off the A train,
I find myself humbly asking
what one does with the build up --
the accumulation --
of the unnameable inside?
Where does the lump go
after rising and falling
in your throat
after the diagnosis?
What happens to the butterflies
in your gut
before the first date?
How does the cup runneth over
with a bittersweet hemlock
when watching your graying pet
slowly grow from puppy to grave?

Complicated, they say:
a bit of crying over spilled milk
and tears from not making the team
to missing the boat and the deadline.
There's also the second hand
faithfully saluting
when nobody is watching;
therein lies mercy
and exonerations
and piecemeal humanity
in the form of a wink
from the amethyst eye
of someone else recognizing they love you
for the very first time,
and what will you do with it --
the unnameable inside?

I am but the tip of an iceberg,
and I look across the train
on my way out
at a man with tiny round spectacles
who has been staring at me,
wringing a smile from his porcelain hands:
for at least three stops,
he has been turning over my brokenness
in tandem with his own
and long enough to figure out
that we are both jigsaw puzzles
with most of our pieces
(for now)
dependent on the angle,
some larger-than-life
picture of the Taj Mahal.




Copyright © 2017 John Grimmett. All rights reserved.

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