The train won’t stop here anymore. The station

(or so you say) was stripped of its accessible

copper wire by a tweaker who played the bass

in your high school orchestra, and ironically

defaced: the porcelain Amtrak sign still reads

CLAmtrak.’ As the pure siren Dopplers through

our bodies – major sixth chord, a sharper key

than the mildly depressed diminished sevenths

of the freight trains that hourly suffer this town,

lurid with Burlington Northern green – it fills

your lungs (or so you say) like the last songs

of Strauss or David Bowie, all things that ache

made holy. Let it be written. If we could see

ourselves from here (thin testamental grooves

of fervor disinfecting us, leaving their marks

where they meet skin – here, and here – already

gone once we feel them), we might understand

that we are still there.

That it won’t come back.



Originally published in North American Review