on the page magazine

issue no. 1, winter 2000–2001
outsiders & community


And what about people you see crying in public?

by Jaron Kanegson

You know who I mean, I mean the bleached-hair
rough-skinned woman on a plastic orange MUNI seat
at the front of the 24 Bayview, sniffling into her faded
black wool coat sleeve all the way up Divisadero
and Castro. Or the hard-core-man man with the sandy
beard and tired hair and blue jeans, weeping by the side
of HWY 101 South, still behind the steering wheel
of some 1970s blue metal Ford after he crashed
into concrete and something broke and my legs hurt
just looking at him, the way he sat and cried.
Or late fall 1991, when I'd sit at a table upstairs
in Café Milano on Bancroft Street with tears in my tea
because I had my first real love then and she
no longer let me touch her. And children, red-haired
and screaming on BART platforms, outside into the sky
at Macarthur and echoing into the roof at Powell
and in drugstores and in supermarkets because someone
is always yanking on their small hands, denying them
M&Ms, chocolate kisses or sugar rock candy, so close to,
just before, dinner.

Jaron Kanegson's work appears in the upcoming issue of SpoonfedAmerika, as well as in several anthologies. Jaron has taken BART, MUNI, CalTrans, and AC Transit all over the San Francisco Bay Area, and also spends time in other public places.

poet's note
In just a few days time, I saw several different people break down in public. Each time I wanted to know why but was unable to find out, which left me thinking about my own tearful public moments.

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