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14th Anniversary Edition, Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Five Nov-Dec 2023.
Transit’s Web, poems by Serena Agusto-Cox.
Tenuous web stretches
past my business card
into your hands. Stuffed,
crushed between legs and hips
Silken lines flow out of Metro doors,
extend from Shady Grove to Bethesda
station, winding through tunnels
toward Glenmont and back.
I move past strangers on the platform,
no hellos are exchanged.
Tangled threads between us — unseen, imagined —
but stronger than rope. Our connection,
transient, yet we sit side-by-side on subways
in deep tunnels below the city.
I wonder if the strangers feel the slight pull
from business cards in pockets among quarters,
Maybe the threads have fallen, grayed,
drifted long ways, sideways,
around street corners, up alleyways.
in nylon pave the route
for air that creeps up my leg
into my cocoon.
I curl my legs
hold them to my chest,
but the exercise is futile.
I squirm out, wiggle
out into the fullness of cold.
My partially unraveled knit hangs
diagonally across my neck,
fighting the gusts
whistling through Boston Common.
Plato sweeps in,
his iridescent plumage
shimmering in morning light.
He struts to my bench,
bebopping to his own music.
My out-stretched hand offers
nuts, Plato’s persuasion;
he devours them.
Wind corrals Socrates, who flits
with curiosity and slams his seeds,
a meal to savor and save in winter.
Ink-pooled eyes stare at me;
I pause, roll up my sleeping bag,
shove my hands into gloves, scowl
at the witnesses.
Emerson greets me
on his trip inland away from the storm.
His sloped white neck strung
with plastic rings. So, much for self-reliance, I mumble.
Virgil scurries by, sniffing tarred walkways,
yellowed grass, fills his cheeks to bulging.
He weaves his way through the crowds,
perhaps he can free Emerson. Instead,
his fingers plunge into torn plastic bags,
pilfering my pistachios.
Lugging my home, I look into their eyes.
Striding parallel, pushing through
Public Garden gates where we follow
Schön’s bronzed ducklings.
© Serena Agusto-Cox
Serena Agusto-Cox’s poetry has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and she coordinates poetry programming for the Gaithersburg Book Festival and was a featured reader at the Gaithersburg’s DiVerse Poetry reading series and D.C.’s Literary Hill BookFest. Poems appear in multiple magazines and anthologies. She’s an editor for D.C.-based The Mid-Atlantic Review magazine and founded the book review blog, Savvy Verse & Wit, and Poetic Book Tours to help poets market their books.