the 6 train

by Henry S., 17

Cold metal to the touch,
A slight shiver down the spine,
Is it the puncturing temperature or the unfamiliar hands that grasp it?
There’s always the germs,
Contaminating our pigment,
That’s the reason we avoid it at all costs.
But how about dish soap?
There’s something else to it,
It’s seen throughout the cabin,
Darting eyes at screens,
Packed in like sardines,
But we fail to acknowledge we are in the same can.
Just cloth between the skin and the rest of humanity,
What we share are the poles,
The glistening metallic shine invites us all,
But our hands recede into our sleeves,
The pole balances us as the train decides which way to wander.

But still,
We avoid it,
Maybe one day,
It’s too much of a bumpy ride,
So our hands slowly approach
And touch that cold metal.

Maybe one day,
With the help of all of us,
That cold metal will warm up.
Millbrook, New York