on swallowing

red tail lights reflect off the ceiling
of the holland tunnel. rows & rows. 
a necklace of light. in the back seat of my car
all my books try to sleep in their boxes.
my apartment folded into a trunk.
all last summer, there was a tree 
that swarmed with bees. we stared at it
through the bathroom window. a train horn
blared like a ghost. i left 
a mark on the wall from where i tried
to pull off a little painting of a seahorse.
it is never a good time to leave new york.
i wanted to cross the george washington 
but my GPS took me under. a reminder
that there is always more beneath.
that october night when
all the subway cars were held still
& we looked at each other & out 
the dark windows. dense traffic 
in the tunnel. choking on vehicles.
i grip the steering wheel
& try turn off the radio in my heart.
listen to car calls ahead & wonder
how long i will sit here. 
aloud i say, "please please please."
there was no air. i am becoming
a fish. i am becoming a brick.
i feel all the necks of the buildings
peering down at me. no movement.
ceiling's necklace of red lights.
above i walk
like a fragment. car moans. 
do i want to leave?
no where to turn around. the tunnel
narrowing into a throat. 
regret is an easy motion. arises
ready as an obelisk. take me back
to what i know. i am always aching
for an old life.  
did i leave the light on in my bedroom?
will i miss the little benches
outside the post office? 
slowly, cars move forward,
one at a time. a little nudge of escape.
i cry & wipe my face
with the back of my palm. i don't know
where i am pushing. take me back
to june when i thoroughly believed in green
dark of the tunnel. the length
expanding in the silences 
between car horns. 

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