My Streetcar Had Desires

 The streetcar made a funny noise

and I could tell it wanted

to explode.

I knew it wanted me to pack

it full of C-4

and sticks of dynamite

and Mossad cluster bombs

from Israel.

I could tell it wanted to be lit up

like a Chinese New Year -

straight out of Shanghai -

but no one else on the streetcar

looked like they wanted

to explode.

Children pointed

and asked incessant questions

of vain mothers in love with their own hair

and little else.

Some hippie with a sketch pad

looked out the window

and saw beauty

where there was pollution.

Even the after work briefcases

with head slung low

into chest

(eyes closed)

appeared to take some depraved

enjoyment in their own


If it had gone to a vote,

my streetcar would have

lost, I knew


So I rang the bell

and moved towards the back,

where an old woman with a tiny white poodle

growled at me before her dog



Evergreen Review.  New York City, NY.  Number 132 (Summer 2013).

© Ryan Quinn Flanagan