Saturday, November 2, 2013

CABOOSEMAN

In a country without good-byes,
the train doesn’t slow down at the station
for a small boy’s eyes
to catch up to its clatter,
but as I hurtle by I see
his hand wave when he spots me.

Standing at the back of the caboose,
I see everything the train passes by;
if I could reach my eyes further
into the distance before me,
I would never lose sight of the past.

On the station platform,
the boy stays angled, looking
into the fresh snow
that falls between us.
From under his cap, he watches me
quickly diminished by the very future
I avoid, not turning around.

To him, I’ve become an apparition;
escaped from the convergence
of time with space,
I float through wet air’s warp,
hands parting frontward
and head turned downwards, flutter-kicking
across the thick, white vertical lines
that drive past me, obliterating
horizontals.

Each instant a snowflake touches
ground below me, I see a soul
escape up, joining in
an invisible traffic
equal in mass and density
to the downfall.
These souls climb the falling snow,
grasping each flake.
Not one goes untouched.

As soul after soul moves upwards,                                   
their triangular yellow outlines bleed
into brightness.
In some, I can still faintly see
the blue circles and red squares
their shimmering contains,
like memories.

Mine have weighed me down.
I feel them tug me back onto the train,
and I am sped away.