The Best We Can Expect

is to avoid the worst in Iraq,
political lobbying, tax audits, and
the F train, Times Square Station,

height of the evening's rush, doors
keep opening and closing, opening and
closing, opening and closing. Will we ever

get home you ask me and I tell you the best
we can expect is to avoid the worst delay in
the history of the subway system, a tie-up so

monumental that people on trains stopped in
tunnels will have to live underground ordering
takeout food from restaurants, sending out laundry,

working from their seats if they are lucky enough to
not be standing on the bodies of fallen commuters
who as they lay dying cried out to their fellow

travelers, the best we can expect is to avoid the
worst when we journey on trains, planes,
and automobiles that get trapped on the tracks,

tarmac, and toll roads of life with the exact change
lanes closed for repairs, collection agents on strike,
no cash or change in your pockets and no E-Z Pass

to get you through the long lines of blaring thoughts
and fixed ideas backed up in your head. As the train
lurches forward a few feet I think to myself the best

we can expect when we come back home tonight is
to avoid getting the worst stomach aches in the world
from eating the Chinese leftovers in the fridge, watching

the worst team in baseball get pounded again on TV, having
your mother call at the worst possible time of the evening
when we're about to go to bed, and that the cat is still alive.

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