thoughts from the b train

by Grace Miskovsky

i like standing on the subway, usually, 
but often, 
i can feel the eyes of strangers 
who i didn’t ask to look at my butt, 
crawling all over my humanity like 
a kid tracking their sticky fingers all over the countertop. 
 
i just
i would rather stand 
than sit, 
and switch seats every time someone sits too close
or their finger worms towards me and grips the bottom of my thigh. 
 
when i’m standing, i can say,
yes,
i see you waving me over to sit down with you 
(in an empty car)
but no thank you, i am ok
standing. 
 
i would rather stand 
because it is the only way i feel powerful enough to maintain 
eye contact with eyes that hold on too long, 
to make them look away first. 
 
i would rather stand
even though it’s not a remedy for that dude who just winked at me as he got off at 34th
(he got the last word in before i could even open my mouth).
 
and now i’m distracted, 
because a pretty girl just saty down across from me and i can’t stop 
looking at her. 
are my eyes unwanted? 
 
my stop’s here
thank god.