Emily Dickinson

Train

poem 1

In the train’s dressy dark, the smudges on his face become a creed (Canadian in detail), the cap swollen in his black central eye is offering life in a minimal way. The girl is careful, inconsiderate. All night her plastic skill manipulates the machine. She hums into range as sleep divides your head. Think: down his damp length like an exercise yard, your fateless likewise lust. Think: such ashy clothes don’t hurt but the sole retreat gets harder. This tank of wishing air has you in plural. Her strict resuscitation, how his white mouth, mending in the car, and the tiled room, blocks your mouth like a plug. He nods off in safety, and a kind of bliss. Her black receding eye is flung at you for a story. You shed like a friend. In the car, his head goes down like a window, and the gush of air, city, calculation scatters, the poor quarters of another dream. She’s got enough equipment for life. Her precaution rides down the train. The water system flocks through walls cooling and clearing. The moon you won’t exchange gives like a rope. And he, poor thing, useless on his bad side, is laid down, becomes her dead wood and her rung. They keep them clean, she says, like a set of awkward toys. You’re fussy about mountain air and stay in bed, waiting for them to go away. The irate garden is enough to make you pale. English, he says, from another corner, fanning the warm alien air, it’s over to you. You feel your face blacking out. Her huge heart, urgent on the table, is telling something, as a drug narrows the world. These anarchists can’t sing, their meticulous chaos is narrowing a room, and his meditation gets heavy (that serene ideal isn’t my idea). He looks out from his worst defect, and waves. With a bent book and a dreamy bible, you could say it all backwards. You want to die in the morning, the bed hurts, and those voices belong to people who wait in the kitchen with preparation, sadness, and things.

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