Sunday Poem

Subways in Europe

I ride out into nowhere on the Paris blue line
because it is Paris after all, and riding is being
anywhere else but home on a bus out West.
There are people who think riding the subways
of Europe is only a way to get around, to work
or the theater, to a bookstore, or some place
like a destination, with a purpose, a goal. But
I ride for the pleasure of the displacement,
distance grows in me like a nervous worm.
No one rides the subways here just for the ride.
They believe in destiny. I ride through factory towns
on the outskirts of cities, through neighborhoods
where the incomprehensible graffiti screams, words
whipped up out of a maelstrom of urban languages,
ride through subsistence gardens planted along tracks
that feed those who cannot ride the subways
for pleasure. It is a time machine, this subway,
journeying back into the world’s fine, forgotten
ancestry. It’s a spider that feeds on my desire
for the oldest forms of communion.

by George Moore
from Drafthorse, Winter 2012