I know the station cold: before arriving, after departing its bright corridors.
How long it takes between the stretches of tunnel barreling in from 9th Ave.
The swing dance of alternate couples: lamps, skylight, shadow, pitch black.
The gaps in cell reception, dropped signals, the mocking spotty coverage.
Straphanger sighs in unison, synced to screens buffering, lagging, pausing.
The groaning lurch, screeching halt, and lazy standstill amongst train cars.
The metal centipede grinding down its tracks, always late right on schedule.
For 2 years, I left Queens’ creature comforts for Bay Parkway, Bensonhurst.
The 36th Street station’s yellows color some of my fondest recent memories.
I frequented the station near daily, en route to Micro Center, the tech Mecca.
Before the crypto mining gold rush, before the scalpers, before the pandemic.
Back when MSRP meant something. Back when we got high on scoring deals.
Being broke means commercial false confidence, window shopping a wish list.
I found the store by accident, a wrong turn into the Industry City parking lot.
Saks Off Fifth. I read once when you don’t need anything you find everything.
Gorgeous cotton Etro pocket square. Paisley blue, mottled navy: sprezzatura.
Clearance. Who would return this?! Worn over the heart, a bulletproof vest.
No words can ever fathom the panicked terror of a rush hour mass shooting.
But I know New Yorkers are a different breed. By the PM it’s already old news.
Gotham then Gotham now, Gotham strong Gotham forever, long live Gotham.