A Poem by Dan Chelotti - Believer Magazine

You Can Only Learn From So Many People

Reading, I didn’t
Notice how the crowd
Was all down the other
End of the subway platform.
Someone had put a piece
Of creased cardboard
Over the dead woman’s
Face and I had to study
Her for a long minute
Before I knew she
Was dead. The crowd was
Staring. I couldn’t face them.
I couldn’t walk any closer
To the dead woman.
I couldn’t read my book.
I didn’t know what a madrigal
Was yet. I had no escape
But the train. It came.
I boarded. I looked out
The window at the body.
The train lurched.
I looked around.
Down at the end of the car
Amidst the faces was a woman
Whose hair was lighting
The car and she smiled
At me. I looked down at
The book in my lap. The poem
Droned about the glory
And the jest and the silent
Wonder of immanence,
And I read until the train
Fell into the sea.

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