The El at Night: A Poem
It was past one, a Friday night, And dark as Tisdahl’s crumpled heart. I felt my mind flood then with fright, For I had quite a trek to start.
Though I had drank with all my boys I had forgotten what I’d known. For I lived North, At Sherman-Noyes, And now, alas, I was alone.
I gazed upon the road ahead Its passage paved with glacial air And thought, “I would rather be dead, Then walk the way from here to there.”
But dare I face the other choice? A risky move at better times! “Just call safe ride!” rang out a voice! “Or Anything! Except the El!”
But I ignored that fateful call And soon I found myself again, Inside an almost empty hall Of rattling steel, upon the train.
I say ‘almost’ for there was one Who sat across the car from me. He sat as silent as a nun, His forehead resting on his knee.
“Only two stops,” I muttered then. “Yes! Only two, and then I’m home.” Oh hope, how you do toy with men! Alas, if I had only known!
For as the train began to fly And travel North, to bare me hence, This other man, he met my eye With such a glare to give offense.
And then he stood and turned, and sort Of slowly, he began to stride Along the aisle, stopping short Of where I sat; of where I cried.
For I had seen a dreadful sight! A sight most terrible and crude. He was riding the El at night, Completely and utterly nude!
At last the train came to a stop At Foster: one stop short of mine. I lept from my seat with a hop, And found myself, at 1:09,
Back on the road, to walk the rest. For I had seen a gruesome scene, And I had learned that it is best, To stagger home in moonlight’s gleam.
Remember this! Please hear my cries, And save yourself a horrid fright. That comes from seeing naked guys, Who ride the el here, late at night!