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Lilli Sutton Apr 4
1.
I spent most of the day on the train from Boston –
writing poems and thinking
of how to undo the mess. I still haven’t found the answer.
My uncle takes me to the Met for the first time –
so much art and so much time
forever onward. Upstairs
modern art canvases, big plain swatches
of bright color. I want to stare for hours
get lost in blues and greens, but it’s closing time
so we get dinner and go back to the apartment.
Beneath the red light and behind curtains
of the same color, I blow up the air mattress
but I don’t fall asleep for hours.

2.
I’m supposed to make breakfast
but they shut the water off. Left
to my own devices, I go to Union Square
and duck in and out of stores all day,
no one to keep me company. Bitter wind skims
off the pavement. I can’t even open my eyes
long enough to see the faces in the park.
Tuesday, when I came home early after cheap dinner
and felt guilty for not doing more. I tried to get ice cream -
one whole hour just to circle a few streets.
I realized – the only day we’ve gone without speaking
in over a year. It feels so good. Maybe it’s cheating
if you reach out and I just don’t respond. But the wound bleeds
every time I open it, and just once I want to give it time to heal.

3.
The long morning where we talk about silence
from people we used to love. Except it’s not sad –
I couldn’t be happier. You’re not joining the army
and I’m not staying in West Virginia. I make hardboiled eggs
before going to Chelsea. I spend hours alone in a museum
but this time I don’t hear the music. I overhear conversations
and write them down for safekeeping. Better than words
getting lost forever. We get pizza and ice cream
and talk about the past. Dad’s in the hospital – has been for a week,
no one told me. Suddenly the ice cream is sour instead of sweet.
Later I hear his voice and he sounds okay. We make plans for the weekend.
I break the silence after one day. Nothing’s changed – it’s worse now.
Whatever – we don’t have to talk. I get wine drunk in a basement
and laugh because everything is so absurd. We get dumplings
and I ride the wrong subway back, the one that makes too many stops.
I’m still trying to figure out the balance
between avoidance and acceptance. One day
I’ll get there. I feel like I’ve been dipped in boiling water,
skinned and left raw. Tomorrow I’m going home
and there’s not enough time. For what I’m not sure –
ever since I stopped wearing the watch on my wrist
it feels like the world is moving so fast I can’t notice,
an illusion of stillness. I shouldn’t have sent that last text –
I always say too much at the end. Always teaching myself
to trip over my own words.

4.
Mornings have become slow and still here.
I never used to linger like this, but maybe it’s a blessing.
Now I can take things in. Old haunts in a city
where part of me grew up. I make grocery lists
for the people I love. Maybe there’s a better way
to care for someone – but I like narrow aisles
and neon lights and people getting what they want.
If I’m alone I can do anything I want. Walk to Central Park
and sit in the sun. Or look at old books. So much time
looking and not reading – does it matter
if I never see the words inside? I wish I was a ***** fish
living in the gutters. I’d swim and swim until I lost my eyes.
I miss the simple landscapes of being home. But I’ll be back
soon. Trains like bookends. Movement like blinking.
Before I leave my uncle asks what I learned and I say
“that I’m capable.” He doesn’t ask of what –
I don’t have an answer. It’s like I used to say –
roll with the punches, or with the trains,
or just roll home.
03.14.19.
Alex Smith Mar 26
Racing through life
On tracks like train cars.
But we move too fast
To appreciate the now,
Now.
An alternate title: Metra fare
Jenny Gordon Mar 24
Yes?



(sonnet #MMMMMMMDCCCI)


What is't about the train's voice, that th'all hail
Um, piques my soul, which harks unto its dense
Low rumble like tis...what?  O dear suspense!
How "nibelung" half winks at me in hale
Dawn's golden warmth as if it knows in pale
Excuse my name, like these elf ears I've thence
Had from conception argue in a sense
Now with my height, while mists haunt with their veil.
I'd feign lose me in fog's embrace as twere;
Go wandring like I canna see unto
The fairer realms beyond is't?  Silver dew.
I cherish its sheer blanket waiting fer
Heavn's burning glance, a violet none bestir,
Hid in the darker shadows trains pass through.

22Mar19a
I don't know what else to add.  
Nibelung was the word for the day and seemed too apt.  How's that?
She was alone.

That's how she started each day, and ended each evening. An empty spot at the dinner table, the empty space in bed, those were her stark reminders. Mother, as she called her, had died some time ago. And, while she desperately tried to hold onto the memories - her childhood, her adulthood - they soon faded. The fading memories making her loneliness even greater. Nothing to cling to, but the present.

Mother had told her to live her life, to be her own woman, and never rely on a man to provide anything to and for her. 'The only thing you need from a man,' Mother would say, 'is his seed.' 'He plants the seed, but you feed it, you nourish it, you protect it.  You are the one who gives it life. In your belly.'

She did need him at one point. That’s why she called.

She first saw him on the train platform. Tall, with skin so dark, so dark chocolate brown, it shown a blue tint. His auburn eyes. Standing upright, standing so proud. She stared, he ignored. That moment gone.  Sometime later, she saw him again, on the same train platform. She stared. He smiled. He talked. She listened. She talked. He listened. Six months later, the seed was planted. Four months later, she left, having decicded that she wanted to tend to the garden on her own. Mother was happy she, her only daughter, had wisely heeded her advice.

Mother could not prepare her for what would happen next.

She was preparing for life, not death. You don’t nourish, tend and protect with the intention that your garden will die. Her grief, beyond her explanation, beyond her expression. Silence. Mother too - swallowing her grief (and disappointment) - stayed quiet. What advice can one give on death, yet on the death of a baby? It would take a year before their silence was fully broken.

Mother was gone three years later. Loneliness descended into her life. 'Mr Wolf,' she cried out.

She saw him again on a train platform. Still tall, still so dark, with skin so chocolate, so dark brown, it had a blue tint. His auburn eyes. He stood upright. He stood so proud. She stared. He saw, he ignored. He stood proud. She stared. He looked. She smiled. He stood proud. She talked. He listened. She talked more. He listened. Months later, the seed was planted.

She thought the time had passed for new life to grow in her belly. Yet, something did. It started as a low, low hum. A warmth. A glow. When he held her in his arms, when he kissed her, when they made love, when he talked, when he listened, when he argued. When he touched her. When she longed for him to touch. She felt a new life growing inside her.

She was reborn

She had called for him. 'Mr Wolf,' she cried out, but she never thought he would come.
Broadsky Jan 31
You make my head feel like I've been pounding it against a concrete wall, how many hands do I need to count the number of people I share you with? You make my hands shake, you make my heart race like a train, you're the conductor and we're derailing from the tracks as we speak.
December 16, 2014
Jessica Jan 24
This cosmic canister carries the world’s disarray-
Our destinations different, our feelings the same.
Though we have regular meetings we remain strangers;
Heads down, uncomfortable.
A pattern forms in our lives which none exits, our sacred routine which if changed is wrong.
Empathetic eyes glazed with weariness.
At each departure, a new inhalation of caffeine and smoke,
A new wave of bodies,
A new mass.
We all contribute to the mass, but the mass never goes,
Only waxes and wanes with the seasons.
We travel as one, carried by destinations, riddled with enigmas.
The hour reaches 6:00 and the mass bulges; the kettle is at its boiling point.
We move as agitated atoms riling against one another.
The world’s day draws to a close, as our microenvironment wakes.

A man exhales stale disappointment- no promotion due.
The coarse skin of his fingers caresses
The constant happiness in his life;
Helping him live, hastening his death.
Unable to inhale satisfaction, his suit clad leg
Writhes underneath the table,
Distracting him, but alerting others of the craving.
Although his tie is straight and his briefcase orderly,
A lose thread and weary eyes give him away-
He’s tired; tired of life, tired of the necessary endless routine
Which holds him and his livelihood captive.
It weakens and sustains him simultaneously.
His secrets define him.

A girl sighs, her cheeks wet,
Tears heavy with hurt.
A bruise has settled itself on her forearm;
A warning for the next time she comes home late.
Her skin has become a canvas and everyday more paint is added.
Her permanent ink hides the painful marks
Yet the latter seems to leave the most lasting impression.
Her face is scarcely discernible;
Metal studs line the place where her smile should be-
They are so many that her humanity becomes robotic.
Her secrets define her.

The tube we sit in holds heavy hearts, new smiles,
Old friends.
The mass becomes one as each day our routine returns,
Unchanged.
We get to know our fellow travellers
Without really getting to know them at all.
Their influence on our existence seems insignificant,
Yet they contribute to the steadfast mass that so grips our little lives,
Whilst we hold on to sanity by a single thread.
Our secrets define us.
lowkeymorns Jan 1
On somber winds,

Flow's a distant moan.

The train yard rumbles,

And the engines grown.

I hear the workers call.

A Voice bellowed tone.

The words crisp.

Rings All aboard.

Steel clash!

Rails creak!

A symphony strong!

The engines reap!

The trains depart.

Follow winds decree.

The time has come.

For me to drift to sleep.
Sounds before the night
Emma Nov 2018
A train station is like a second home to me.
It’s where I last saw you, as you walked away
For a train that would take you so far astray.
Tell me, did you ever look back
to see me standing there on that platform?
Did you ever have a last glance, my friend?

I did not realise then that that would be the last time
That I would see you, my friend.
Even though you exist still,
You’re not at home anymore.
You are not my friend that got on that train.
Does my friend exist at all?

Since you turned away to that train,
The world has changed you, my friend.
You’re no longer the innocent one
That once held my hand through it all.
The world has turned you as cold as an icy winter
Since I last saw you, my friend.

Train stations are now a familiar echo to me.
I travel to them,
One after the other,
Searching for the person that I once knew.
They do not spare me of the knowledge
That you are long since gone, aren’t you my friend?

Standing on the platform so that I could watch you go,
I could never have imagined how much
The world would change us.
You no longer exist in the sweet hue of my memories,
But instead, lie in the barren desert
Of my depleting mentality, as you’re no longer my friend.
Matthew Roe Oct 2018
There’s a swan on the line,
Taking your time,
So bow to the seagull in Jewels.

The Burberry is real this time,
But the face still spits and scathes
At those below his mental might,
It is Golden muscles this time,
Not concrete knuckles,
That deliver this slap in the face.

We all sigh,
And roll our eyes,
Cocking our heads like the red-eyed
Pheasant
That lies flattened on the next track over.
‘Vikings’=references how it was during the Viking rule of Britain that it became law that the royals own the swans.
‘Burberry is real’=how Chavs or negative depictions of the lower class often show them wearing counterfeit designer gear, usually Burberry.
‘Red eyed pheasant’=how the needs of the upper classes (swans) can be prioritised over the lower classes (pheasants), plus the red curve that is underneath a pheasants eye.

Based on a true incident on a train journey I took.
Matilda Oct 2018
You left
And the train roared
Like the panic in my heart
That what had started
Could not stop

You shrink
And water distance
Forcibly pushing by feeding
The gap you created
In all of your fear
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