Friday, October 3, 2014

The Train I Am On

I have known bleakness. There were mornings my feet went through the ice. There were waitresses who did not smile when they poured my coffee, who did not care that I was writing writing, shivering and writing.

And cigarettes accompanied me through Europe, and it is possible I have a son in Ireland. If you miss the train I am on indeed. Well, the 1960s didn't look that way when they were happening but we tend to learn that particular lesson too late.

I remember her saying "you keep the best parts of yourself to yourself" and then walking out the door, her feet echoing on the stairs. Years later when I went back her husband owned a bowling alley and we kissed a little behind it, sharing a cigarette in the late November snow. We think cameras follow us but it's only the idea of memory.

Cold moon not smiling back in October means a long winter pending. You think you're this, it turns out you're that, and only years later do you learn there wasn't any difference between the two. A photograph would have moved us closer to what you think you wanted but we're past that now, we're into language.

Past that now into mangling? A fox watches me every morning when I stumble through the rainy field, still working off the last of the wine, trying to find the right place to stand and listen to leaves fall. Nobody goes with me and nobody ever did and I'm used to it but still.

That letter keeps intimating it will come and yet every morning the mailbox yawns and spits its emptiness back at me. You can spend lifetimes rocking on the porch, trying to find the right words for a moaning train forever rumbling west. I won't see you naked and you took the part of me that writes and made it your own but what else is new.

He used to write at night when everyone was asleep and even the dog was annoyed with the clatter and typing but now he watches movies. And this will have to do when so little else has, my dear, this will have to do.

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