by Emma Jourdan

I want to stroke the faces of strangers on the tube.
They’ve got skin like modern art,
all texture and bluff. Like guts on the surface,
stringy and pressable. I want to touch them.
I want to kiss them good-night.
I’d tell them stories as I did, if they’d tell me mine.

I love them. I love their dry skin,
like it’s about to fall apart.
Their stomachs, soft and round
or crushed right against their bones.
Their flash light eyes notice
or don’t notice me.

When one of them gets off
it’s a loss,
it’s an emptiness.
It’s lucky that they are always replaced so fast.
I want to run my fingers down their arms.
I want to dance with them,
I want to hug them till they bleed.

But I won’t, I can’t,
so I’m touched inside my head instead,
while outside
lights carve up the darkness,
and disappear.