the Last Train, Love

by Steven Kenworthy

Tonight is the perfect night to stop apologizing
For the banging train station in my basement.

whether it’s short line or pennsylvania i cannot say and truthfully,
it doesn’t matter at this point.
it’s a new year for a new engineer.
how’s that.

Whether you’re chasing cars
Or coincidentally taking a detour route that just so happens to have the same destination as mine, is insignificant at this point.

they’ve actually evaluated this entire situation, and decided to remove the color green
from all of the stoplights
wherever i go.
traffic will be right on track for being the noisiest nightmare i’ll probably ever

Thank you though,
Thank you for the free transatlantic sensory quarantine.
Thank you for no longer putting coal in the coal spot.
I don’t know enough about these things,
To call it anything else.

my hungriest apologies if you wanted clarity,
if you could see the skyline today from where i am, you’d realize,
they turned it into an event parking lot for ghosts who can’t pay
with real money.

Maybe I’ll call it something like the devil, which is horrible, because backwards,
That spells lived. And there is nothing full of life about burning to death.
Not right now at least

how dark. without fuel, gasoline or fumes for the furnace’s impatient flames,
i miss the dangerous games.
i’m certain i’ve recently hired someone special specifically to look for lanterns.
i had to have, with the information provided by the obvious future.
i had to have

Enough though,
Enough of that free transatlantic corpse-like shutdown of the century.
Enough of that paranormal jousting for the sake of getting on bored.
I don’t know enough about these things,
To call it anything else.
How about this time, I just stop.

I learned how to use the brakes like an anxious orthopedic surgeon,
always cracking his skull,
looking too hard to find fractured things worth fixing.

look. nothing is broken.
put away those rushed fiction x-rays. i’m part of an automatic-biography nowadays.

Steam avoider, you’re keeping the old paint young,
and the 70’s wallpaper that everyone complains about when they come over,
has never fought so hard for its life to stay in its place,
but no one cares.
I love this train station more because it’s a real extension of this valuable house.

the engine itself, the steel framed body that moves through the tunnels,

it’s come to an abrupt and seizure-like halt
it’s the horse who broke his legs on the big jump.

It’s the difference between showing and telling.


Author's Note: Romantic Communism at its finest. a pair of lost birds.

Posted on 10/28/2009
Copyright © 2021 Steven Kenworthy

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Allison Smith on 10/28/09 at 04:48 AM

Nice work as always SK. "looking too hard to find fractured things worth fixing.", you have no idea how much I can relate to this line.

Posted by Laurie Blum on 10/28/09 at 04:04 PM

Romantic Communism. Now there's a concept... you're so brilliant.

Posted by Frankie Sanchez on 10/28/09 at 07:42 PM

genius knows nothing.

Posted by Anita Mac on 10/29/09 at 03:11 AM

You make some admissions here that make me sad, which is the only reason I took all day before commenting. I think you needed this metaphor; it feels that way as I re-read it all. Not my favorite, but that all ties into said admissions. Oodles of respect for it, all the same. ~Nita

Posted by Megan Guimbellot on 10/29/09 at 09:10 PM

aching. everything you write, including this, is just a rush of raw emotion, so good to read no matter what the tone. you are a fantastic writer. and just fantastic in general.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 10/30/09 at 04:28 AM

Like a steam engine at high speed. Thank you.

Posted by Therese Elaine on 11/04/09 at 12:13 AM

This poem makes me happy -it is painful, wrenching, glorious and aching -but it's beautiful...and thus, so my world is a bit more beautiful for having read it. You never cease to amaze me...and I don't think you ever will.

Posted by Leslie Ann Eisenberg on 11/06/09 at 09:06 PM

great lines twisting my gut, musical score the wrenching sound of ear-splitting brakes.. unforgettable from engine to caboose. pk

Posted by A. Paige White on 11/08/09 at 01:53 AM

Having three grandchildren under five, I am more than a little fond of show and tell. I enjoy your crayons about best in this Pathetic coloring book
dear Worthy.
One of my "automatic-biography nowadays" turned one just today. It made his eyes red, white and blue, like you. Love this and my pick for POTD. You've done it again in my book!

Posted by Charlie Morgan on 11/09/09 at 03:37 PM

...up and down, trestle and coal pit; horn blast and a chug chug to a man/boy's heart...s.k. you paint a delightful pic o' a looooong moment in a boy's life, ... puff puff puff puff thru the tunnel of life.

Posted by Alison McKenzie on 11/10/09 at 12:51 AM

"hungriest apologies" is just brilliant here, such a contrasting image. It's filled with cynicism and sadness and wisdom born of terrible experience.

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