Two Metro Poems by Tanya Azari

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two metro poems*

annie tells everyone, “don’t ride the train with susanna, she won’t
let you take the window seat, she’ll

put her hands where all the other passengers can see,
write her name on your neck with the tip of her tongue,
talk to you like you’re the only one who can
see her put her mouth on the dirty window and breathe.”
annie whispers, “susanna, i can barely speak—
you’ve taken all the words that were given to me.”

“annie feels like facing backward on the southbound train
and in your periphery the world appears,” susanna says.
“she’s the remembrance of a sentence that got lost in your head
and all i want is to write it on her thighs,
compose a symphony of wanting in front of everyone’s eyes
so they can hear the way i need her without it being said.”

annie wishes she’d just love her instead.
susanna inhales. “i’ve made a home inside her bed.”

* “metro poetry” is a concept from the OuLiPo movement, where the writer must create one line for every stop or station on their train trip (not including the starting station). if there is a transfer, the writer must create a new stanza. lines may only be composed when the train is in motion, and may only be written when the train is stopped. no writing may happen when the train is in motion, and no composition may happen when it is stopped.

Tanya Azari

Tanya Azari is a teacher who still uses their student ID for museum discounts. They have been published at The Fem Literary Magazine, Rising Phoenix Press, and The California Aggie, and otherwise self-publishes in several small chapbooks and at