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The Train

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


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