Transport (after “When Ecstasy is Inconvenient”)

see something
say something

take any major city
take every square

foot, every footstep
traced back on the map

of a screen
walking while writing

almost all at once
this type of transfer

takes practice
bears repeating

people watch & people
watching, large crowds

are good to get inside
it’s the law

of large numbers, more
the better, always

take your time
get close, & then get closer

travel together, all of us
like a pack of wolves

crowd the packed express
when local won’t cut it

cut a line through
crowds, or cut a line

by breaking rules
ordained in red

letters, reserved
for an emergency

turnstile tricks are not
for the faint of heart

much less those without
the means to move

without warning
anything not to miss

connections, specter
of the green line

seen from such a distance
or in the face

of others, connections are friends
& sometimes lottery

as luck would have it
I could rob laughter

that makes me smile a sad one
by one, by one, by one

or all at once
we make our exit

feign a great calm
all gay transport does soon end

with or without inconvenience
with or without a feeling

of contact, a state of being
beyond reason & self

control, consider proceeding
curate what’s passed

it’s as if you already knew all of this
would happen

Chris Campanioni was awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize in 2013 for his collection, In Conversation, and his novel, Going Down, was selected as Best First Book for the 2014 International Latino Book Awards. He is also the author of Once in a Lifetime (Berkeley Press). Find him at
*Photo courtesy of Aan Kasman.
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