I See a Star in the Villian's Train


Dead a million years and still keeps riding the L,
letting the grease of a million sweaty finger prints
stain the smooth plastic all around it, a subway seat old before its time.
But the star, really nothing but a blinding light, shines like the eyes of
a 15-year-old girl in love having just parted lips for that one,
The one she knows will always love her, will fulfill all of the promises of Paris and New York City (especially New York City),
of a forever lasting beyond death; all abstract, of course, but so true, in the starlight under that oak in her wild back yard, to them both.
It’s sweet to be blind that way. It’s sweet to know that there, upon the cool spring grass, this will all be like this forever, this very moment, the very air, sweet air like only teenagers can know, the kind you can almost taste.
                           
Cicadas sing. She tries to whistle through a blade of grass. She is the most amazing thing on earth he has ever seen.
                           
He believes, too, in that Paris apartment, in the golden sun’s motes of light shining through white breezy curtains from a window that looks up at the Eiffel Tower and across to the bakery and the coffee shop; for they know what their language books told them, from the French films they have to watch in class.
                            
Loves like this. Last forever.
When you’re a child, you can’t fathom the ending. It could be a new love, or a fluctuation in mood or taste, promises to write that wane. It could be anything. That first heartbreak is life’s first betrayal. She didn’t think she’d ever live again. That no one else would bring back that April night.
                            
The teenage feeling stays right where it was left. And we carry it deep deep deep. A part of us wants that lost part back. 
                                            
And we search for it. We give in. Again again again again again again.There is no blame.
We don’t know why our starry eyes go dull and matte. Reflecting nothing back, like a crazy girl on too many pills. Pills that keep her from killing herself .Pills that keep her nerves and neurons and fascinating chemistry stilled and quiet. She’s a danger to herself when she isn’t stilled into submission.
Doctors like to give tranquilizers to the ones whose bodies dance without movement, when the light shines straight through straight through to things better left unseen. 
So this L-train star keeps its detonating light inside one single car on the way to Bushwick, weary travelers closing their eyes to the light, to that villain reminding them they can’t go back again.
                            
Just that dusty subway terminal, the stairs to the street, the long walk back to the apartment, where the lamps light soft upon whatever it is you’ve made and lost in your life.
                             
The worst part? That villain reminding you of starry nights becomes your undoing, leaving you looking out at the streetlamp till morning.

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