Elizabeth Kate Switaj


cracks in orange plastic
                                         sit & spread
                into arachnids
                                    impossible spiders
                             spinning their legs into webs

                             spinning over your faith
                                                        your I could run
                    and spreading

teeth    Reminding me
                                       of the night you raped me
                                    not when you bit me
                                 (That was in fun
but when the sewer spit around
                                                                  its manhole bolt
                                                                like a transluscent firework
                   (fire flower— instant life & death in Japanese
                                             last time we walked hands in one pocket
                                             just hours before I said No
                                                                                     and you grinned


                When you leave the car
of communal orange, yellow seats
                                                                          to clean
                                               parks & paint
                                  graffiti into whiteness
                                               (You drunken bastard
at a quarter til seven

                                 my broad endurance
                                                                                 swimmer-girl shoulders
are suddenly too thin                              
for this direction                              
so close to sunrise & Brooklyn                              

Men with tan leather boots
                  plaster-spattered jeans
                     clean blue T-shirts
                                                             get off & on

I transfer & couldn’t
wear my black vegan boots
        coming from work last night to meet you


never comes
       until one day it does
Mysteries of skip-stop & just when

rush hour is when you sleep
every other day & half
the coffee-drinkers on your every train
don’t Mysteries not solved Never

again will you call it the ghost train

Elizabeth Kate Switaj is an ESL teacher, a kimono copywriter, an ex-expat, a Seattle native, and a Brooklyn resident. She holds an MFA in Poetics and Creative Writing from New College of California and blogs at http://qassandra.livejournal.com

Her writing has recently appeared in Euphemism, The Subway Chronicles, Melancholia's Tremulous Dreadlocks, Art:Mag, and Gratitude with Attitude. She has poems forthcoming in Xelas Magazine, California Quarterly, The Other Voices International Project Anthology, The Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, and Other Voices' 2008 Anthology of Younger Poets.

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