Self Portrait (So Much Depends)

by Kaiya Gordon
Graffiti in the subway tunnel reads: call your uncle.
A woman takes her phone out of her pocket, checks it—
“no service.”  Fingers of train tunnels extend
in different directions; arches frame the platforms.
            A train blurs over the electric
            whistle of the tracks,
            whirring: who?  who?  from the damp
            of another platform, a
            girl emerges, licking her lips.  Her
            sunglasses slip down to
            the edge of her nose, and
            she slides them up
with one finger, turning her face to the ceiling, clear skin, lollipop lips.
The tunnels are uneven; the passers-by creep.
A woman with long legs creeps extra for her added height.
Unfolding herself onto the platform, she approaches a man wearing shoes
four times the size of his feet.  She shrinks her body into a chair.
As they sit together, he crosses his legs, puts a shoe over her thigh
and presses in.  The sole makes a red mark.  He wiggles his toes.
They sit for a time; he presses more.  Now the red
            is a bruise.  “Worth it,” he
            says.  “Fashion.”
            The girl waves, then cups her
            fingers around
            her mouth, lips stuck out.  Call
            your uncle!
            Boy holding a paintbrush adds to
            the wall:
Who will you touch tomorrow?  Who?  Who?—the tracks rattle.
Billboard in the subway tunnel says: you need to touch.
Look there, at that girl on the platform.  She is pinching her hands with her thighs.
That man shrugs out of his chair, taps his shoes, shouts:
(the girl is
a puddle of
“do you think
sex, think about