A song, a picture and a poem

A song, a picture and a poem. It’s up to you to decide how they fit together.

Subway Opera


I tell myself that I can handle this.

He’s just sick

speaking French to me, frantically

his dark hands fluttering

his chapped lips so close to my cheek

they’ll catch in my hair.


This is part of life in this city.


I count down from ten

close my book

and then give up my seat,

pushing my way through the

crowds of after work weary.


They part, disgruntledly

for me and my French King

who is now following me,

stepping where I step, still


always talking

hands moving.


We are stalled here, waiting on the next

express train and then the next

and then the one after that.


I step out onto the platform

and cut into the next subway car,

and he comes with me,

my French King.

He is singing me love songs now


Je vais vous tuer dans votre sommeil


He is promising me a lifetime of love

if he can just bite off the tip of each of my fingers.

He will build me a castle in the clouds

if I will live one year in the tunnels with him and the other  monsters.

His own hands fluttering behind me

in time with my heart.


He wants to know why. Why? Why?

Pourquoi? Pourqoui? Ou vas-tu ma chere?

Where? Where?


I promise, yes, yes, my King. Whatever you wish.

Just leave me be.

And weave into the next car


Where he joins me and it is no better.

People wait and they watch us

waiting for my French King and I to set

down the money can

and perform for you

a broken ragdoll opera


I as the Queen

he as the King


The steady thump of my heart

is the drumbeat

in this song


His French words

the melody


My fear,

the high wavering violin that plays for all of us


and our dance, lasting well into the night


even hours later on the couch,

with my husband’s warm hand on my leg

and the King’s whisper still there

brushing my cheek

cooling the once hot tea in my hand.



By Ally Malinenko

I live in Brooklyn which is good except when it’s not which is horrid. I’ve been writing for awhile, and have some stuff published and some stuff not. I don’t like when people refer to pets as their children and I can’t resist a handful of cheez-its when offered. I have a burning desire to go to Antarctica, specifically to the South Pole so I can see where Robert Falcon Scott died. I like to read books. I like to write stories and poems. I even wrote some novels. You can read them.


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