Dreams Come Like A Shadow With Hands Around The Throat

The way Twain said
to kill darlings
I am trying to kill
friends,
murdering the worst
parts of myself…

Leaving New York City
I tried to yell goodbye
to my mother and brother
as they crossed the street
and I headed down
into the cold subway,
but they did not recognize me, thought
I was just a neighbor, and kept walking.

As the train pulled into the station
I realized I had two empty backpacks,
had forgotten everything I owned
somewhere along the way.

While backtracking
to the opposite platform I realized
I had lost one of the backpacks altogether
and would never find it,

and a bartender from where I was headed
asked to talk about my feelings, concepts
of the world.

Before I could begin the train came
and off loaded a group of friends
from high school and college,
two college girls wearing stilts,
towering three feet above me.

When one leaned down to give a kiss
she fell into the tracks
but no one seemed to notice
except the conductor, who achieved
a miraculous stop
while I winced and cried
on the dirty platform.

No other friends even blinked or stopped,
laughing and making plans for the future instead,
before cramming into the train car and riding away,
and again I was alone.

So I put one backpack inside the other which appeared
beside me (turns out there was plenty of room)
to avoid losing it again.

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