She’s sitting in a crowded subway car, zipping through email messages
on her phone and minding her own business when it appears:
a photo of a man’s penis. — CNN
The first pic was blurry, so she might not have been sure.
The second one resolved all doubt. The hand grasping it faced up
so she could see the half moons of his cuticles frowning
below the pale crown of flesh. Now the woman is glancing around.
She’s wearing a pea coat over jeans though he imagines her naked,
her breasts swaying slightly as the car rocks back and forth. He didn’t expect
what came next. She stood, furiously tossed her bob of hair, held up her phone
and said, Is this yours? She waved it around so others could see. Is this yours?
She said to the man seated next to him. Is it yours? She said to another man.
Look, she said, and then she shoved her phone into his face and said,
Is this yours? It seemed so absurd on the small face of her phone, under it,
the innocent airdrop request, “Steven’s phone would like to share.”
Are you Steven, she asked? The man next to him glanced over and said.
Not me. Wrong color, and for a moment, the two smiled over the joke.
He wondered if everyone could see his white cheeks turning shades of fire?
This wasn’t what he’d intended. He thought she’d feel a flurry of curiosity,
perhaps a flush of desire. He is, after all, not a bad looking man, the kind that walks naked through the locker room thinking other men are noticing. He imagined
she’d look around with shyness, maybe edge her way to the exit doors to escape
with his secret stowed in her purse. He imagined she’d think of him at night,
take it out when she was alone and gaze at the soft, vulnerable skin of the glans,
the slightly erect shaft cupped in his palm, the mat of blonde hair. He didn’t expect
all the commotion: a lady towing her small daughter to the far end of the car,
the man to his right chuckling, shaking his head, and the woman in front of him,
her voice a glass shattering, over and over, as if he was a dog who had soiled the carpet,
Is this yours? Is this yours? Is this yours?