Taxi Cab Confessional 1/30

Gray and mostly ignored

(For Tom Puree)

It was in the back of a Minnesota taxicab

Tom driving, that I wondered how he got here

Not tonight but in life

I imagine him in 10th grade with the vocabulary of a scholar

Disengaged but willing

The right person would speak in the language of metaphor

The language he is

Today

The cab

Worn the way New York City makes acceptable

People use the space and leave it with bits of themselves in the seems

I wonder who sat in my seat before and let him feel as invisible as I realized he believes he is

It was the scent

Club nights, young buff flesh

Smelled sexy- that made me notice him

He wanted to take the credit but it was not his to take

Said he just smells clean

The day driver uses air fresheners

A stack stuffed in the air vents

When I asked him his name it was as if he also wondered

Busy with the excitement of someone finally willing to listen

Tom spoke metaphor the way most poets cant

Said he wished he would have paid more attention in high school

Loved early Dickinson for her light simplicity

The consistency of the blades played back drop to the silence moments

The rain a simple chorus

His voice held an honesty usually scrapped off the walls after AA meetings

The way he would carefully pick his word

Find his truth as if for the first time

He never turned the meter on

Took the long way

Stopped fully at stop signs

But never seemed like he was taking advantage

Last driver pretended to be lost

Pretended the 5 block drive was confusing

When we arrived

I sat there

Like the trip was not escaping me

In protest I ignored the door and listened still

The things great lesson plans are made of where there

Huddled in the casual of two strangers who found familiar

“Maybe you can be the tail that wags the dog”

Tom not convinced my love of language and the youth in a classroom was enough

To steady him I mention

My school

A future goal fastly approaching

A goal I didn’t fantasy about in childhood the way I do on most afternoons

But it is this

The moment where I wondered if he knew everything he had done up until this backward taxicab confessional was just as it should have been to make my trip worth it

To have me furiously constructing a poem about a man that thousands of people have been in the presence of but never saw the poetry in

Tom,

Your metaphors are tight

Your voice just right

Tom,

You are my Dickinson

My full moon at midnight

The things great poems are made of.

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