On the Train

In the windows the shadow people sway:
each to his own music,
each to her own silent words.

The chattering girls in bright scarves
move their hips with every creak and hiss
as if caught in some dance
from a hot country far away.

The woman with penciled eyebrows
slowly extracts a jelly bean
and places it in her mouth like a pill.
Her pursed lips kiss curses down the aisle.

Men in suits sleep openmouthed
beside beat-boxing boys.
Bearded construction workers stare bleary-eyed
at nail-clicking girls.
Each one glances at the other’s face,
glances and then turns away,
says nothing.

The man drinks from a flask and yells
at no one, then drinks from a can.
The little girl in the pink coat stares
silent and answers nothing.
Her eyes are fifty years old.
When the rail-music stops,
she takes the man by the hand
and leads him like an overstuffed teddy bear
out into the dark.

In the windows the shadow people stare:
at the headlights and stars that flick past,
and at their own ghostly faces,
the blurry eyes that flash stark-white for a second,
then fade.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *