Poem – Anaphoric Ride

The train grinds to life, eating virgin track.
Passengers shift and move around like silverfish.
The tired man has a window seat.
Picking up speed, the train passes through…

A place that looks like the Grand Canyon
but is really the black hole of his longings.
Being a thin man, he longs for many things.

A place where only Portuguese is spoken
and he finds the only word he understands is “gringo.”
He knows that means him.

A place where bulimic cats toss dishes into the sink
and spray graffiti over the refrigerator, implicating
their owners in hideous crimes.

A place where Siamese twins marry brothers
and each have eleven children, no twins.
He knows this could only happen in Siam.

A place where he is born into a vortex of vowels
that envelop him in their amniotic way,
as they hunger for something solid.

A place where he finds he is the starlet in a snuff film
and it is fitting somehow. He wants to finish this page anyway,
discontinue this B-rated romance.

A place where the aging cashier has a four inch thumbnail,
painted pink, with her black hair tied up in a bow and he asks himself,
“And I thought money was dirty?”

A place where he wonders in the train what everyone else thinks about ‘eye contact,’ because he is making eye contact. Then he realizes that you aren’t supposed to make eye contact, and now the rest of the train ride is just hard work staring at someone’s shoes, shifting to a purse, to a newspaper, to wishing this ride was over, to a book, to a uniform, to a reflection in the window…

To a place where the train never stops.


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