I should have moved it,
I tell my husband on the train,
watching the little boy cry and hold his finger.
It’s not your fault, he tells me.
But still, I saw it. I saw it and the other boy saw it
and I should have kicked it away.
He’s too old to be picking things like that up,
my husband tells me. Besides, it happened too quickly.
I could never be a parent,
I’m sick now just watching this and it’s not even my child.
The father has the boy on his lap. They are all very blonde,
They look Swedish but it sounds like they are speaking German.
The subway lurches up onto the bridge,
back out into daylight.
We are going home.
The boy has stopped crying now.
The mother is studying the subway map.
The father has kicked the razor blade
across the subway car,
like a dead thing.
Not like a killer.
The sunlight catches it and it gleams,
like a smile.
No one on the subway car does anything,
not even me. What is there to do?
Now we all wait and wonder.
I watch out the window
the water of the East River below,
the city retreating from me like a living thing and
think that I’ll spend the rest of my life
wondering if this kid,
holding his bloody finger
this five year old boy
is going to die of some horrible disease
is going to rot from the inside
if it is even already starting now.
I wonder if he’ll get to grow up, get married,
fall in love, have sex, get his heart broken
before it all comes to a horrifying end.
All of this wasted
because of one trip to the United States.
Who does that, my husband finally says.
Who leaves something like that on a subway seat?
And I think I don’t want to know.
But they live in my city.
13 hours ago