Photo by Margot DeSalvo

Poetry by Margot DeSalvo

Excerpts from Train Stories


Stone rushes past
like a waterfall’s
sharp vision
of sweat on the small
of your back and
the smell of the
sheets as we
dreamed, but not

Brush along these
in equilibrium.

Time has abandoned the platform
and transported dances or aches
left in the glow of someone else’s window.

Turn away from the florescent light of the subway car.
The couple by the door is rehearsing every day shit
and feeling high
from the city’s righteousness.

The borderline of early and late
makes me want more
than what I can have.

Honor one
or nothing.

Without another for kissing
the reminder of daydreaming
always remains blurred.

Willoughby Street
plagues me
on Saturday,
staring at me
with the sun
bouncing off it,
but I cannot stop these tears.
There is a poem outside
that I cannot meet
and the stapler doesn’t
belong here.

The letter “Z” scales the buildings
for charm and beauty.
Ask me anything,
but I am incomplete.

People through the subway window seem
less like who you are.
These tiles are not separated from identity.

The book inscribes the sun
– His skin was slightly translucent
unlike his words.


This coffee coats
my insides like
fleece holding
my organs.
People wander
aimlessly and
today I
remembered to
bring the white out.

Candor and clumsy
are the notes of our awkward
daily banter
just because
we are
too unsure to
say “I want
to feel you.”

Late wool
is motherly
my littered heart.

My saliva
tastes like
but I swear
I didn’t …

Question glasses
full of lame excuses.
I’ll board the
11:51 to Herald
Square and remember
when I bought David
the turtle.

Evacuation Synonym


Please readjust my wing -
Your cold hands compliment
my cold bruises.

Confusion amidst the moons
Masked by the oven’s smell of
packaged apple muffins, maternity,
cinnamon and justification.

My fingers smell like nicotine -
A decade of desire in the park
to inhale a confession of myself.

I liked it when you sectioned my arm
and made my fingers curl.
Typically, I contain my shivering
to silence and reservation
(The recipient’s responsibility
to selfishness.)

Hold on
to lineage
never seen.
The pit of pride
will follow a different origin
because I have taught myself
how to eat moments under uniforms.