an on-line poetry magazine
for the 21st century


Robert Savino


6:58 a.m. Babylon to Penn
#2 Express downtown
1st stop, 14th Street
the crowd packs in like sardines
2 straphangers kissing
3 couples holding on to each other
38 strangers engaged in electronic gadgets
the train arrives at Cortlandt Street
the doors slide open at the same spot
no one notices the smile of a lone commuter
except for Ray playing a strung broomstick
and old wash basin on the platform
I drop some cash into his empty cup
he nods and drops four bars of the blues
a better high than a second cup of joe
this was the perk of my work week
the smile, the cup, the cash, the blues
for years of New York City rail travel
until that morning those doors slid open
to an eerie emptiness on the platform

ROBERT SAVINO, Suffolk County Poet Laureate 2015-2017, is a native Long Island poet, Board Member at the Walt Whitman Birthplace and Long Island Poetry & Literature Repository Center. He is the winner of the 2008 Oberon Poetry Prize and co-editor of two bilingual collections of Italian Americans Poets, No Distance Between Us. His books include fireballs of an illuminated scarecrow, Inside a Turtle Shell and I’m Not the Only One Here.