Sunrises and Borrowed Pages

by Karen Eileen Sikola

I'm sitting on the B-line toward Park, and there is a woman with the same black bob as Mad TV's Miss Swan, and she is leaning the whole front of her body against the whole pole in front of me, and even though there is plenty of space around her, she is pressed up against it as if she is being pushed, and her mid-section is folding around my knee-cap like a catcher's mitt, and when I transfer to the Red Line, I feel relieved, until a lady smelling of mustard sits next to me, and I hold my breath until Central because she is making me crave pastrami, a peppered flesh I have gone nearly five years without consuming. And the next morning, on the first train of the day, I feel chilled as I watch the sun rise up over the Charles, and I almost miss the odd intimacy of that woman's gut, and I smell nothing but the borrowed pages being turned in my hands.