A Coin-Operated Paramour and a Half

It was the first ever lung transplant
completed on a train, with nothing but thread
and good wishes. Nobody even looked

twice. I was that efficient. In the drugstore
parking lot a man pounded on my car window
until it broke. I did not know him, or

maybe I did. He wanted directions
to the historic district. He wanted fingerless
mittens off what once passed for a sales rack

or a series of digits to try in the pay phone.
Back then you could lose a lung. Really.
That’s why all the pay phones were clustered

like nuns walking past a penitentiary.
You said it was a bad condition, elements
unfavorable for anything but watching sparks

that weren’t even sparks. The post office
was an abandoned post office, even though
my father once walked me through

all the stones of the lobby. You were busy
counterfeiting your lungs, worshipping your
nothings. They weren’t even sweet.

You said you would sleep out there
in the gazebo, on a red line train, curled up
like a lung next to its double, only the double

had been signed away to a donor. I didn’t cost
you very much. A couple of quarters.
Enough thread to wrap around your finger.  end