Life on the train

High school couples sneaking longing stares embarrassingly,
impatient and restless businessmen waiting for the weekend,
day-trip elders with packs laced tight and voices laced with excitement,
a group of young men with a box of hard hats and hair colored
vagrant shades of orange atop their oversized construction clothes
that could easily sell for top price at retail fashion stores
marketing them as the latest trend from the streets of hip Japan.
They boarded the train with a breeze of defiance while
talking in octaves more fitting for Saturday night clubbing
and settled into a circle on the floor in a train where everyone stands.
Under these “yankii” all rules of etiquette are ineffective
and the uncomfortable glances of those nearby plead fiercely
that the men taste the expectations of the passengers surrounding them,
that they remember the rules of society their mothers failed to instill,
that they change character before the fat one’s phone rings too loudly again
and everyone else feels unhip for having silenced their own beforehand,
before their shouts drowning out the broken silence gain another decibel,
before their masks of coolness covering rebellion become too fierce
and expose them to the life beyond the handrails and the worn seats.



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