Tracie: Invisible [wo]Man on a Station in the Metro

Invisible [wo]Man on a Station in the Metro

I’m Specter — between underground stations. I used to know them a little and they knew me. I was eating with them sometimes. We would exchange phrases.

One day, my self began making cameos. It happened while I was eating grits and once again in a public place. I felt disembodies ‘cause, I had been a shell of my origin for such a long time.

It felt like gelatin in the beginning. (I don’t eat that stuff – cloven hooves.) But this is how it seemed at first. It began to expand like a marshmallow: It was good it felt overly sweet. I began to ask myself — is this a guilty pleasure?


One day, it happened. It wasn’t just a resident; it was me. Filling up cubby holes in my bones, and I did not feel bloated!

I was doing so much better before. I had friends I could gab to about clothes & political goings on. Anything that didn’t require commitment. I began to say less, telling more. I was not the hydrogen everyone says I am now.

Truth is, I began to thin out. To them, turning translucent. More corporal, ‘cause they noticed, less real ‘cause my guts began to show in high relief. No one wanted to watch that.

I saw they began to move slower, stiller life. Sure, they were picnicking between the openings of the tracks at Grand Central. Yes, they had wicker baskets, sandwiches with some meat, and red drinks and chips. I wanted to sit with some of them, especially exotic looking types, touring. When I tried to rest for a moment they would not hear me say hello. They saw condensation on the can, soothing sounds of my throat and they clinked their glasses. I even moved on to strangers I barely knew. Crossed some invisible line, protocol and they wouldn’t hear me or speak.

Now this hurt me. I could understand taking sides, but I faced these people frontways. There were no sides to take!

I move on between the numbers, glance at the board, sit by myself. Unpack, look at my feet, hoping they’re still on the ground. Withdraw (oh, pen!) — I know I have to get this down.


TRACIE MORRIS is a poet, performer and professor in Brooklyn, NY. She will be contributing regularly to Lemon Hound.