Train Hopping

Who knew the heart could beat with
the intensity of a locomotive? Myself.
if you can’t count the lug nuts, don’t do it.
If you die here they will identify you from
a pile of rot jammed between the ten ton tires,
a blight on the glimmering top edge of rusted track.
Otherwise, what could have been a way
to ride a grown-up’s Radio Flyer Wagon
will have been an unfortunate accident
you travelled out to Boston Street Station
to investigate. An old man in the yard
tracked me with a glare.
“How old are you, twenty?” I nodded.
“I’m 59. I retire in two years.
Don’t let me see you do it.”
Perched on a coal car,
the bushes and gravel road
that leads to freedom
and nowhere rattle past.
Only my shaky body,
this house on wheels,
and the mute sky
remain stationary.
Have you ever seen
the wheels of death
shining by your feet?
There are no grooves there,
only faith that weight will hold them,
keeping them as pristine as the finish of the table
back home before dinner.

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