Tuesday, February 26, 2008

the Jealous Train

somewhere between the last stop
and the current one, I took some time,
acted like an urn,
held some flowers and sat in the corner
and took the time to realize, that
fixation is becoming a
relentless boxcar of strain
full of the passengers’ baggage
(and someone else’s belongings)

I saw the Girl in the passenger car
with charm to throw away,
letting loose her red hair,
winking at everything within her eye,
gripping some vices that
were either New or lost (or both.)
She took her time, yet moved so fast,
steady rolling steel wheels made
the intense flow of boys from her cab
look like a cat chasing butterflies,
adorable really, until you really
look into it.

I saw the Boy order whiskey
with the worn out shoes.
He had been walking for days,
wondering and wandering,
taking his life on the side of roads and
dim-light diners.
He wasn’t standing now, so
he sang with every breath.
His voice carried his song
as far as the car could stretch,
Voice like an old oak tree, misplaced
in the center of a quarry, smoothing
the gravel with its motion.

No one in the car minded,
‘cept the Old Hag with the
new trench coat. She had died
way before her time, but
was still finding excuses
to scorn the scores of
Vagabonds and filthy others.
She never stopped to realize
that she was the miscreant
in this hallway, angered,
wrinkled expressions making coarse
contrasts with the Girl’s easing grin,
or the Boy’s pure, honest melody.
The Hag wants them all dead
(or at least in the army.)

The Hag pushes past me as She
makes her way to complain
to the driver (having already
complained to the rest of the staff.) Muttering
the only verses She’s ever known,
and only will, with no reason
to attach meaning to words,
concerned only with the form.
The stewardess ignores her and
wonders how much longer the
Girl will ride for, The driver laughs and
ignores them both, wondering
why the Girl doesn’t spend
more time in the front of the train.

I laugh and make my way,
back, back, back to my chair
easing the Girl’s laughter
and the Boy’s song
into each ear where I
let them settle down deep in
the back of my head
and wonder, just wonder,
why I’, not as soulful
as they are, why, their presence
could fold all the old texts
into footnotes!

I don't think they know it,
and I don't think they will.

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