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The Train
Wordswain

The Train
 1
 
I decide while
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Diner neon blinks back from puddles in the street,
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a street who also refuses to meet me halfway.
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My car slumped into the backstreet corner
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of a stumbling parking lot, I opt for freedom,
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wet shoes, stepping off the parking curb blues.
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The empty factories scream at me in a night
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whistle, jagged windowpanes like teeth, gobbling
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up the candy wrappers and leaving only rocks
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and rusty tin cans, while the rain plays the warehouse
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roof like a pawn shop marimba,
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down the street.
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I decide
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thinking maybe a bottle green Cadillac would have
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done the trick for her, or maybe a bottle
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will do the trick for me ‘cuz she ain’t comin’ back.
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But instead I’m lost on the east side of a city
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That does nothing but sleep.  The train whistle
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piercing the night splits the peaceful veneer in two.
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And then I’m running, coins spilling from my pockets,
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flapping soles of my shoes rising in a crescendo,
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ragged jacket strangely not wanting to go this way,
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trying to catch the next downtown train.
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I
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reach the two rails of snaking steel,
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they’re ringing and my head’s ringing,
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and the rocks are tripping over my feet, wavering,
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some of them doubled over, and the light is brilliant.
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I am dumb walking forward like a newspaper headline
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read over coffee, but bathed in the light exposed like
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an emotion, like farmers’ tan or a supermarket
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expiration date that just won’t rub off,
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and the sound is howling, really, bearing down.
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But the train is drunk that night,
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stumbling off the track and back,
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my jacket the only fool here, gaping smile
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down my arm, and I am smelling for the first time
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the crisp smell of fresh, ripped leather.
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03/07/07

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