Pulling out of Union Square station, the subway
sounds the first three notes of There’s a place for us,
somewhere a place for us. A woman sits on me, shoves
her dim planet-face at mine and blames me
for not moving. My face half numb—
post-root canal. I want to incinerate her
with a blast from Shiva’s third eye. But she
is Shiva, too. Give me back the luxury of blame.

Copyright © 2014 by Marie-Elizabeth Mali. Reprinted from Split This Rock’s The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database.