The Yells of Trains

Photo by  Steve Halama  on  Unsplash

Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

Countless nights I've laid, eyes soggy, admiring the faint cornrows of light sneaking through the blinds, painting my wall Kansas. Then somewhere between today and tomorrow, between the dopplered motorbike and the spooked bark, I hear it. Its industrial war cry making its way through the filter of bricks and alleys. Rolling over asphalt and curbs, till eventually its stamina proves sound, its bell infiltrates through stone, glass, finds my ears, “I’m here.”

Across the valley floor, making its midnight run through town, streaking steel, deadly weight, a spine full of economy, it warns of its touch.

Somewhere on the shores of an intersection a truck watches the steel migration behind urban cattle guard. The ground tickled by the weight, sends chuckles into the vehicle. Someone, now late, sighs, massages a steering wheel.

Its tattooed, corrugated, canvas display traveling galleries, its clockwork legs full of horses, swimming a river of ladders keeping its wings clipped. 

I imagine a nervous system, a man in a striped hat, coal layered overalls. But know he’s more practical than that. I wonder where he lives, when he sleeps. I wonder if somewhere a child hears what I hear and misses him. 

Year after year the yells of trains have trickled into my late-night ears, miles from their crossings. Like a full moon ignorant of my admiration the locomotive knows nothing of my existence. I, still in my sheets, hear it and wonder what train I’m on.  

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