In the subway, under the discount-clothes hangers,
the shadows are lying like stray dogs.
The sales-girl with the deep shadows under her eyes
is too tired to look up and out.
A young man with an intelligent face wakes up his flute
the way the prince wakes the sleeping beauty – with a kiss.
I pass by without noticing a thing.
I should have dropped my nickel chime
into the emptiness of his cardboard box.
But this is a subway. Let us, for as long as we can,
keep climbing out back into that upper world,
whose music erupts
in silver fountains under gold chandeliers,
and in our slumbers only – like a silent netherworld –
darkly heaves up the kingdom of shadows.