Volume 34, Number 3

Alewife Station, MBTA, Spring 2023 Season

I’m not surprised
That the train station has
video ads for the Operahouse
but not a bathroom with toilet roll, soap,
or a functional locking door.

I try not to imagine the howling fantods
this bathroom has seen
based solely on the smell.
It’s an emergency, after all
I scrounge around my purse for an unused Kleenex.

The show is Jagged Little Pill.
The Times called it “galvanizing”.
I realize I forgot hand sanitizer
and try not to touch my face
which only makes me touch my face more.

All that money on ads
to better capture captive eyeballs
not already occupied by pocket-sized screens.
Galvanized against what? At what cost?
Isn’t that ironic?

—Jamie Zipfel