good-natured buttered-up angels who tripped out from Heaven’s Bar

caught their glittery shoes & minds between whirlwinds & dead turnstiles

they ride the empty trains constantly, getting out of the cold rain

but all trains are haunted—

the lazy A that took us home after last Saturday

night’s gig at Washington Heights, perhaps a shade of its grandfather

took Sir Duke & Billy Strayhorn aboard towards Harlem in 1940

it’s still midnight, almost the end of the line for randy trains—

it’s now time to cruise over to Queens Plaza Yards, to sleep with warmed-up cars,

to romance that special one it met on the tracks at Hoyt-Schermerhorn

when they were hitched up for only a week—it never forgets

how it shined and smelled (no hobos slept in it)   

its chrome face made the other trains shiver on the tracks as they raced upon the third rail,

sparks flew—we rode the 1930s Vintage Special Train to West 4th Street—it was haunted

sputtering diesel as it rolled on slowly from Herald Square, the lights went out three times

& a man stood in the center aisle, wearing a fedora & a caramel-colored long coat

as the passengers held carved, cream-colored handles in the mint-colored interior—

all subway riders are haunted by events:

broken hearts, tough-working days, able-drunkenness, despair, boredom,

longing for home or excitement, in every time or age