Going somewhere else on a different train. Just like that. I rode the rails for quite some time by myself , many people getting on and getting off, passing me by. I often thought I could smell you but when I breathed deeper it was always gone. A ghost dancing on the edge of my senses. A young girl in a headband got on the train. She was listening to headphones and dancing to herself as she bobbed along. She sat down in the seat next to me flashing a smile. She had a wedding ring on and I dismissed her immediately. She didn't move from the seat or stop glancing my way.
Eventually she confessed that she wanted to talk. I told her I wasn't interested but she persisted. I hadn't talked to anyone on the train for quite some time and after some more mild persistence, I gave in. We had a lot in common. We were both riding alone, desperately wanted attention and were thrilled to receive some. After a few laughs she slid her hand in to mine and interlaced her fingers. I left it there. It was warm, comforting and wrong. She was married but I had been riding alone so long it felt good to have some company.
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She stayed and we talked. She was broken and I had a knack for fixing things. Trees and rocks were a blur of green and grey.
The engineer must be trying to make up for lost time I thought to myself. The girl was asleep with her head on my lap. I looked down at her hand and the rings were gone. I woke her briefly to ask where they went. She could of sold them, I said, but she said she just wanted them gone so she could be mine and fell back to sleep. All of a sudden I couldn't breath.
This train was roaring down the tracks, the once gentle click clack had become a loud hum. Suddenly too loud. This girl in my lap who had just gotten on the train wanted to stay. I considered her for a while as she looked up at me with big blue eyes, shining and wet, like a puppy in the shelter, terrified of rejection and desperate to be adopted.
At the peak of the mountain, just when the train began to even out, you waltzed back in to the car with a champagne flute in one hand and your bag in the other. I don't know when or where you got back on, must have been a few stations ago when I stopped looking for you. Maybe you were wearing a disguise, who knows what you had been up to while you were gone. I'm not sure how long you were away but it was quite some time. That you had been through something was obvious, a new wrinkle had formed on your brow and you're once confident stride had changed to a cautious stroll. What actually happened out there I don't know.
I never asked and I don't want answers. You looked at me and smiled. It was good to see that smile, like sun on my face on a brisk day. You took a step toward me and then I looked down in my lap at the girl at the same time you did. I looked up. You and your smile were gone. I quietly and gently nudged her awake and told her I had to use the bathroom. She put her head down on my coat and fell back into what ever trance she had been in, eyelids gently fluttering, eyes searching beneath them for what I would never give her.
I dashed up the isle and threw open the door, almost shattering the glass. The conductor glared at me and rolled his eyes as I barged past to the space between the cars. There you were.
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Standing on the stairs with your head out the opening. The wind was blowing your perfectly formed curls around your head like a blonde explosion of familiarity. I yelled your name and you dove in to me. My senses erupted, my mind went numb as the train was nearing another station and I inhaled your essence greedily.
Do I italicize the title of a short story? What about poem titles?
We moved to another car. I abandoned my coat with the married girl and never looked back.
I hope she found what she was looking for. You told me you had encountered some other people out there on the rails and they had reminded you of what we had when we first left the station. I never forgot. The train started to rock and get going again. We were back in the bar car and starting to brown out. In a desperate moment we looked at each other and put our hands, together, on the emergency brake cord. I looked in your eyes with your hand on top of mine. You kissed me while yanking down on the cord.
Time slowed, the breaks squealed and everything exploded throwing luggage, people and the entire contents of the bar car in to a nondiscriminatory chaos. We got up off the ground, ran to the end of the car, dove off the side in to a soft patch of grass and rolled down a small incline. He spotted us off the side of the tracks and shook his fist while shouting every conceivable obscenity combination.
We laughed, held each other in the grass and kissed deeply. We watched the train pick up speed and disappear in to the hills as relief spread over me. You interlaced your fingers in to mine and we both looked out to where the tracks disappeared into the horizon, wondering how far of a walk it was to the next station. Nat Lipstadt May Three Minute Warning A messenger delivers A three minute warning As I lay in bed at am Resting in preparation for, not from, our oops, early morning hike.
No problem cause I already know All I need is two. Splash water on my face Now I'm presentable enough to the human race, current company probably won't be happy, But I ain't telling her, are you? You crazed? Clean T- shirt and shorts, Yes, clean underwear too, Leaves me a whole minute to write this scribble. My flip flop noises coming down the hallway, Are the butler announcing our joint arrival, Me and my poem.here
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Lest you think this is paean to men Another grand male boast, Be advised this ditty be writty By a man who, while no longer gritty, Just put jelly on his scrambled eggs And ketchup on his toast! Mmmmmmm there might be a poem Lurking in that too We used to swing under the big willow tree We lived 3 doors down from each other We were princesses who fought dragons We could save the kingdom and find our prince by lunch time Our moms laughed and talked about how cute we were Four years old was a cute age Fast forward a bit We went into elementary school innocent and young Boys had cooties Girls had cooties Kickball always ended with someone getting hit in the face We would always sit out feild and pick grass and shape it into a little birds nest Life was good Until your parents started fighting and I mean really fighting.
Mak Jul The room was silent. Somewhere along the span of my mother's 35 short years on this planet, her immune system made a giant mistake. For uncertain reasons, her body began to attack nerve cells, severely affecting her brain's processing ability and mobility.
I still have plenty of time. There was no way in hell I was going to let my family see me cry. Absolutely no way. This was a joke.