The Quotable

Tokaido Line

On the train, people slump

and doze between stops.


Shin Otsu, Shinagawa, Yokohama—


these names slip through my mind

as the stations shrink

in the distance.


I peer at a fellow

passenger’s pages,

vertical pictures, sky

scrapers of sentences.


Rush hour. This car is grey

and black, nylons, umbrellas,

stiff collars, and pinstripes:

camouflaged city dwellers.


Tokyo, like a run-on sentence better

read as individual

words, is a metropolis

of several wards:


Harajuku, Ueno, Shibuya,

Komagome, Ofuna, Kozu, Odawara


This platform at neon-perpetual-dusk,

pulses with thousands of steps,

black leather soles and spike heels

grinding cement


a beat I cannot move against.



Mishon A. Wooldridge is a Northwest writer and massage therapist. Her work has previously appeared in Two Hawks QuarterlyFloating Bridge Review, Earth’s DaughtersThird Wednesday, Jeopardy Magazine, and others. Her poetry is forthcoming in the anthology Tribute to Orpheus 2 (Kearney Street Books). She earned a degree in Creative Writing from Western Washington University.

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The Quotable - Issue 5 "Place"