Summer 2000 • Vol. XXII No. 3/4 Poetry |

Travel Is Easy by Train

Don't you love a narrow corridor? Ham asked. Only one way to get lost, or to find. It was the year of the rat, shunned overachiever, and late in a day that was long. The girl in the icy-blue coat gave them her eyes, only to take them right back. We're all like her, Louise said, twice ourselves in a window's reflection, alone on the train. They watched both sides of a coin as it slipped past the point of divide. Outside they could see February's first flowering--a fictional rose, goat's breath up early. They listened to inaudible inches mince toward, unfeasible finches flap toward. It was time for lunch. They are best, Ham explained, as he plucked figs from a basket taken in bites, like bits of tissue gnawed from a vole bone or consumed like the lone shark released from the jail bars of a grill bed--swallowed not whole but maintaining at all costs each bite its bitness for the textured toboggan ride south. His napkined neck nodded his head with its pillbox engraveled with

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