The Last Stop

by Mike Jewett
Dedicated to Robin Williams. Rest in peace.


Subway station to subway
station, tens of thousands
of ceramic floor tiles going
in every direction. The colors
mute, dull under savage lighting
and the dirt from shoes, feet, trash;
detritus. No jazz leaking from cafes.
No Legend of Zelda playing on the tv;
the iconic music no longer tucked between
ears like the earworm it was. The moon has
ellipsed tonight. Its light never reaches
the insides of those dark tunnels. The
tiles. No matter which direction you
walk and how big the station, they
all, at some point, end. Like
the last stop. Striking red
robins sing forlorn notes
deep into black skies. Grief
fills their nests. Empty.
Dirty. Rueful. Each one
a singular jewel. Where will
all of it go? Nowhere. Yellow
parchment leaves fill the
soft air, spilling;
millions falling.
We very often
forget that
people like
you can
die.

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