by Denis Hirson
The young men in the metro are a pack of knives.
They swear upon the heads of their mothers.
They are shaven. One wears sunglasses
and headphones. One leans over a blonde woman
asking her for cigarettes, asking her to open her legs.
Their words stick into the pillow of silence
of the rush hour crowd. There is work on the metro line
and the train won’t move. Their voices are high
mad swallows, chasing each other. One man
mutters against them, but they cannot be reached,
a drug of complicity pumps in their blood.
The train shuffles to the next station.
The blonde woman gets up against them,
curses them, throwing out a sharp hand, leaves.
Their laughter and chattering break at her back.
I am at the far end of the carriage. My fists are wet.
My body is dark with words of the dead.
I will not come out against the screaming world.
I will go even deeper underground.