noise cancellation

against better judgment
for the first time
i can remember,
i rode the underground
with noise cancellation
switched on.

i had a far off destination,
under 2 rivers across 3 boroughs,
the luxury of time –
motion as an excuse for standing still.

lol i missed an announcement,
looked up,
and the F was now an E.

extra stops
forced spare time,
added to the temporal luxury,
yet also added
the stress of unplanned choices,
calmed only by thoughts
that all of this was
in retrospect,
meant to be.

who’s to say
destinations are last stops?

on the ride home
an R turned into a Q,
but i would not be fooled
as i left my earbuds’ reality-pass filter
i.e., transparency mode
open to my ears.

over/under the din,
tracks onrushed underfoot,
as an algorithmic playlist
served me
an onrush of tracks.

desperados under the eaves
sleeping satellite
sea, swallow me
don’t happen twice
to lay me down (lp giobbi mix)

through the windows of a subway
the world outside falls silent.
every car, a massive noise cancelling device
obliterating the external city sound crash
with clatter cracks of steel wheel on rail,
not-quite-discernible propagating conversations,
and distorted over-amplified conductor announcements,
that you may not understand,
even with switched off
noise cancellation.

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