The Train to Arcane

Who sat back
wards on the train
that time leaving
town with loving grin.

Who watched enmity
territory slide past
faster than a dream, blurred
scenes in a constant frame, fading
gray stucco and flaming
pink flamingoes.

Who pulled out then

Who was drawn, like
a magnet, by the spine.

Footsteps then

Who hears his call.
Who thinks he will.
Planted, an X, at
that wide window.

Who held files tight
with abandoned plans,
folded aspirations in
collapsible suitcase.

Who gauges time by tweezerlight

becomes a ghost with open mouth
shrieking in the night.

Father lifting me onto the seat.
Eating bread out of a bag.

Footsteps then

Father said, Hold your brother’s hand.
He’s only a baby.

That time.
Going gone.

Passed parking lots like patchwork
quilts, assemblages of tar and concrete.

Tickets, pockets, metal shells with
rough eye sockets, humps of tea-stained
flakes peering from the foliage.

Empty bottles of Night Train, full
bottles labeled The Arcane, flat
white beer cans, small change.

Cigarette ends, greasy rags, porno
mags, women’s shoes, new condoms
caught, bright flags, on trees.

Ditches, pits, punctured bags of grass, glass.

Telephone poles, electric lines, yellow
warning signs.

Cuts in the earth, thick snakes
leaping and running alongside the tracks.