Faded as that 90’s graffiti on the train station walls,
Old locomotives, their engines cease to spin and sputter.
Little mice, too famished in their task, caress cogs and messages,
From places, too dark to read, the notes pile up.
Some, I think, may be blank.
Some, I could not read, as I scribbled those promises too fast.
A great mound of empty words made from a tree now dead.
The cogs move no more, I doubt they were ever connected before…
In line for a one-way ticket out of this grave land,
My baggage gripped tight with both hands- makes it difficult to keep in check,
I try to hide it with a smile, no one offers to help.
Surprisingly sullen, my every movement seems to echo from bold, cold walls,
The insignia behind the ticket master’s house is sprayed in red and it reads:
‘This was always a one-way trip’
I bite my lip, try to understand how to turn menace into sand,
This station is run by ghosts. I can feel them watching from holes in the wall.
I was asked by a stranger, “why did you come here”,
My staggered recoil from justice and reason must have been enough,
When I looked back, my persecutor was lost to an empty hall,
And the bones of this room can be seen when it breathes,
So clear, not seen the sun shine in a long time,
Startled like a bird falling into a pool, I wonder why I came here at all.
I talk to the ticket officer, this hat worn low, talking from a dark place,
I want to know, “the time of the next train please”,
But the man only holds my gaze, from beneath his low cap
Motionless, the spindly man holds all the cards, then blows away into the wind.
Left his own station in search of tracks. Somewhere remote
The sun is shining, and life is dead upon this new day.
Perhaps it is too early, I sit and wait for someone to talk to,
“You know that bag must be awfully heavy, please let me carry it for you”,
I shake my head and grip what is mine a little tighter,
“Don’t be afraid to let me in, I only want to help you free your light”,
But I don’t care for skin or bones, I set down my bag and watch,
The man of bones, with dreams larger than his stake,
Perhaps, if you were not so far away, you would have the strength to exist,
I look up to see the man who tried so frugally,
Met by dead air, perfectly comfortable- without a friend in the world.
I take a stroll down the decrepit tracks, cold air grasps at skin and sense,
Just to see the colour of the rust, and what the reaction was,
The trains and tracks are turning bitter-brown and discoloured purple,
Holes are manifesting themselves into the carriage, much less comfortable than I ever knew.
I step on the dead cartridge, much less comfortable than I ever-
Reliving a time when the carriage was bright, and laughter echoed the halls,
Far down the musky, dark-grey scope, I can hear the faint sobs of a child,
Inevitably, I find the kid, small and frail, sobbing into his hands from under his hat.
“Dear Michael, this carcass is the last place that I expected to find you”,
I kneel down beside the boy and tell him what comes from inside”
“You didn’t spend much time here when we were alive, I am leaving you Michael, your world is cold and dead”.
The boy trembles before sobbing turns to cold laughter,
He lifts his head and I peer into two dark and empty sockets,
Pristine, white bones contrast the encroaching darkness,
Michael tells me: “There is no leaving this place”.
The skeleton child’s words are empty.
A little while down the track, darkness pours from every crack,
Each train looks as dead as the one that was mine,
I follow a trail of disfunction to the end of the line,
Where I find a train, most unlike the rest, its silky black skin has been kept intact,
Monstrous, foreboding and intimidating, the conductor keeps the fire stoked,
Red mist puffs from the window, horror stagnant beauty feels and flows.
The walls of the carriage are meticulously decorated,
Framed pictures resting on crimson silk, a life frozen in time,
I am not welcome here,
Presently, a feral scream from far away- the engine room,
A mad man armed with fire eyed fury,
Jackal Rushes through moment and memory in fear and panic,
The first thing in this nightmare clad in skin,
The man stands still, full height, coloured in… I look into his eyes:
I fall back through twisted carriages.
Butterflies protecting fire from rain.
I sleep safe knowing that no one thinks of me.
I am writing a book. One day a character wanted to say something...