Shriya Bhagwat-Chitale
Aotearoa/ New Zealand

Cover Image - Pauline Wu 2017
No journey on a crowded underground

No bumps or shoulders grazing
Only seagull sounds
Carried on air enviably pure, sterile
Dull footprints, thoughts like sagging wires from poles
In suburbs notorious for their lonely streets
Permeated by a familiar but as yet unfounded sense of foreboding
Even at midday

You see, should something happen to me here
It would be easy to describe as
Something that happens to others
Who’re caught fleetingly in peripheral vision
Unlike another life in another town
Of postmodern mash-up
Where I could be an extra in your film
Who could wind up getting a lead role
Or you in mine

Absence of possibly
Cost of opportunity
Of my gaze meeting yours
Obliquely through the woven tapestry of people suspended
In a crowd

This was no journey
On the crowded Underground

Shriya Bhagwat-Chitale is an Auckland based writer and grassroots artist.