Leaving by Train

September 4, 2019

Whiskered light throbs inside the station.
The chiming tunnel, its loud, lipped mouth agape.
The rough mirroring of our bodies, a brave illusion.
I’ve owned the fights, and this is it: bit his lip as he moved in,
felt tangy heat wrangle my tongue.
The train quivers away, a relentless emptying, relief snugged further in.
Trees approach, claw the windows — a branch’s embrace,
the wind in their tusks.
The seasons do not shrug each other off as easily as they used to.
They storm and plunder as if refusing knowledge of their own end.
The fields, roughly handled by the wind, make submissive bows
in unison to the spine of summer’s moving dusk.
I rest my head on the trembling window, watch the sky raise its night eye.
In the dark, a field of flowers, ribbed red petals, a globed
universe. The heart of a lion.
Even at this safe distance, a smell of flowers in the air.

Ashley-Elizabeth Best
from: Slow States of Collapse