I have a new book out: Carmine Fin, Golden Road. It's a collection of poems from 2014-2016. Enjoy!
The Mirror of Heaven
The Mirror of Heaven
Carmine Fin, Golden Road
Tracks disappear down the tunnel of darkness. The people they lean: watching, waiting; devices plugged into ears, brains on hold. She’s back in the city. The stagnant drip of the underground. Sweat smell of air not moving, choked with the captured breath of a million lungs who stopped for a while to keep company with the naked bulbs. The white tile walls.
He stepped up beside her on the platform, his tan blur and radiant force.
His bright eyes, shining naked blue bulbs, peered at her from a dark face. Is he black? Christ—it’s dirt. His face was dirt-caked, a solid layer of grime…slight forehead wrinkles.
His beseeching look.
But he was young. Five-year-old tan jacket that doubles as a bed in a slimy hole, the rats crawl over it sometimes they bite but the jacket, the jacket is his friend; he has the hood pulled up over his head. Citizen of the world. Occupant of hell.
“I really wish I could be with you,” he said. “You’re beautiful,” he said. His eyes two shattered mirrors of sky, hovering over her while his fingers traced Sanskrit across her face. The dunes, tan mountains stretching, sliced with razor edge to reveal ether sky. White wave-heads rolling in; captured forever in mirror eyes which reflected the sky beneath the tan hood.
“I know I’m messed up,” said the mouth in the gray face. “I didn’t always look like this. God, you’re so nice. I could be with you—I could be, if I wasn’t like this.” He looked down at himself, then back to her. “I wasn’t always like this.” She leaned on the pole that gleamed blue in the fluorescent, eternal night. Down the tunnel, a solitary green light in the blackness. The light approached; cyclops A-train eye.
In a blur of light and leaping day-glow graffiti doors shuddered open, showing the floor of the train, a grimed turquoise and white checkerboard with various dried puddles spread upon it like frozen coffee amoebas. A wad of pink gum here, a desiccated Camel butt there, old New York Post from this morning blown apart. She stepped onto the train and looked back. The rag-boy stood on the platform, gray face front and center under his tan hood, his life flaming from his eyes.
The doors slammed shut and the train heaved forward with grinding scream of gears, the conductor’s voice of Martian gibberish crackling from the ceiling, announcing the next stop. Mysterious destination contained in the white noise that pierced through squeals of clashing metal sparks and heat. On the train, the woman’s eyes were raised to the blinking ceiling as the car commenced to rock from side to side like a small boat on a metal sea. The Spanish coffee advertisement, gold-toothed man daintily holding a little white cup; pinkie extended. “Tired of Dead-End Jobs?”
The woman swayed slowly forward; chanting over the subway roar. Around her, a miasmic cloud of boiled Thunderbird. His hand gripping her little jacket, pulling it up on one side so that the paisley stretched almost transparent over one sagging breast, her man walked with her; holding a coffee can covered in silver and gold frayed Christmas wrapping.
“JESUS IS THE LORD! GIVE TO THE LORD!” the woman moaned. “ALL YOU ARE SINNERS BUT YOU WILL BE SAVED! JESUS SAVES!”
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