Sunday, February 24, 2013

The White T-Shirt, A Poem

A poem that caught my eye, now that I'm returning to the big city...
White T-shirt
by Lewis Ellingham
                                I caught sight of it at a bus stop:
a white T-shirt, though
                                                     it was partly covered by
     the turning form of a lanky youth massed
                with other human forms intent upon
          boarding the bus on which
                      I was riding, tucked in a corner seat on
                the last row of seats on the bus, the right 
   side, sheltered,
        watching the surge as it entered the double 
   rear doors that
                        soon welcomed as a bottleneck the 
   half dozen
     new passengers -- tall, he walked back along the    aisle until he stood
                                maybe a dozen feet from me, 
   holding a rail
      with one hand (the right), the other arm 
   dangling, his hips relaxed,
every color -- hair, eyebrows, lashes, half-day beard 
   shadow,
        heavy cotton pants, a
jacket dangling from the dangling left arm -- black 
   except for his
      white T-shirt, unornamented, the folds from 
   his twist
           as he stood, deep drapery folds, the cotton 
   heavier than ordinary
     for such a garment, the trim at waist and short 
   sleeves the same material rolled,
      eye-catching for its clean bright whiteness, 
   hinting at his beauty, and
                        beautiful in its self:                a white 
   T-shirt, an
        object, he
                                would move slightly, the 
   creases deepen
    as the twist deepened
                             slightly --
                                        at Castro, Market and 
   17th streets
        he got off, many did, many boarded, his eyes, 
   a light brown, met mine through
                the bus window for a moment, the T-shirt 
   at his neck white,
                                an object still

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