An Oncoming Train

We waddled over grates along train tracks
on a bridge above the river until a trembling
warned of what would come: soon, one of us
will leave the other. Running to safety in flip-
flops, it would not matter how it felt when
we held each other after stumbling off rail into
field because you said you finally found a thing
I’m scared of: the in-between of tracks. Heart
beating odds with brain. As the train passed,
horns blaring, you spoke something I could not
hear when we hugged as each car blurred forward
until we became a quiver, a silence, a kiss of
faded smoke dragging steel beyond the hills.

 

(originally published in Four Ties Lit Review, Fall 2017)

Night Train in Wait

We stare at stars until we feel
the cavalcade of stones shift beneath our shoes.
There is an entropy to the universe.
What melody does the rail hold in her ivories?

Do we listen for an engine to ignite
while we tangle in the grass, in the cold,
in the tremble of tracks? Where else to go?
We tremble, too, waiting

for a song from the vulnerable rail
and her sharp of distance.
If the train will not move I still want
to create landscapes with you

and callous ourselves hurtling
past engine content in her still
into worlds where I become wind,
and you, fire–

with a palm on your cheek,
we’re the mountains,
playas, beaches, moors.
All a blur. A quiver.

 

(originally published in Isthmus, Winter 2016)

Impermanence

I.

all my words are fingerprints
& ankles in the sand, the Atlantic,
broken wind,

& I’m in bed, awake, sleeping,
blue light, wake me up, do not
disturb, I wait, I heave, I heave,
I breathe, I dream

of waking up, a clump of silver dress
entrenched in my palm

II.

whispers.

an engine hums softly,
lonely.
whirring. & the artificial black
stillness of fluorescent light

eyes that glint like shoeshine
activate the lives
of specks & lint

III.

there is no future:
just you & I, hands interlocked,
a knit pretzel woven lover
& apprentice, each knot a
finger-printed window
to fields which rise
like pancakes in heat &
left cold on the table, uneaten

 

(originally published in Hermes Poetry Journal, Issue Two, 12/1/14)