Matches

“Next stop, Fulton Street.”

Brown eyes just like yours stare back at me.
Brown eyes just like mine stare back at yours.
Brown eyes like other brown eyes
stare at reflections of other brown eyes,
searching to stare at anything but each other.

“Next stop, Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall.”

Our shadow selves are falling in love.
We’re two matches
struck on each other,
lit by each other
stuck by each other
as we sit by each other
on the 4 train out of Manhattan.

“Next stop, 14th Street-Union Square.”

My shadow self hums Lana del Rey.
Yours taps in time to Michael Buble.
And who knows
our shadow selves could be
the soundtrack
of two hearts
drawn by the flame.

“Next stop, Grand Central-42nd Street.”

My eyes are still skirting your gaze,
in the glass through which our shadow selves
manifest themselves.
Our shadow selves are falling in love
somewhere in the haze
of the glass turned red by the blaze.

“Next stop, 59th Street.”

Our shadow selves burn in shades,
of my red and your blue facades.
Together we make purple rain.
Who knew we’d strike one another
and light one another
on the 4 train out of Manhattan?

“Last stop, Woodlawn.”

My hands start to gather my things
and in haste accidentally gather you
up into my things too.
My eyes finally meet yours in apology.

Our shadow selves are falling in love,
grasping one another as we step off the train.
But our shadow selves are just shadows
of hearts, like matches,
burnt out.

Kimberly Nguyen