As we clatter below Marylebone
I risk a glance at their faces
see history, movement, love.
The couple opposite coo Portuguese
and their infant daughter punches
the breeze with pudgy fists.
A white-haired lady furrows her
brow at her daughter, querying
the Bakerloo stops in Afrikaans.
Two men hanging from rails
banter back and forth overhead
Jamaican patois haranguing Cockney.
A Japanese woman wrestles
her suitcase off at Paddington
just as the doors crash shut.
Encased in this deep tunnel
we’re close enough to smell
one another’s studied distance.