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Eastbound and Always

by Megan Guimbellot

I'm heading west,
late for an eastbound train and bundled in layers, I move
and dreamlike.

Train station sounds and train station smells// a maelstrom of echoes and fuzzy intercom announcements
locked in the eye of a footstep hurricane// no break on the horizon.

Bodies huddle on the escalator
waiting for a free ride
so I hit the stairs// and on that ghost town stairway,
in my early morning, pre-coffee haze,
I find myself in collision with a stranger,
heading east to the westbound train.

With a flick of eyes and lashes
we murmur
"Sorry" and "Pardon me"// our words jumbled as we untangle and move on/ opposite and gaining distance with every step.
I glance back
I wonder if he had, too, and if I had missed it by a moment// a single second tragedy.

Landscapes flash by my window and bleed into each other
but I think of train stations and instant love affairs// I wonder who he is and where he's going.

I wonder what his landscapes draw for him as his train races away from mine.


Author's Note: Brushed shoulders and a million what-ifs.

Posted on 12/15/2013
Copyright © 2021 Megan Guimbellot

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 12/15/13 at 04:35 PM

simply splendid imagery and scenario, that has us reciting soliloquies of what ifs, to be or not to be heading westbound or rubbing shoulders with potential, leaving us wonder what, had we had remained longer at the fair?

Posted by Richard Vince on 12/26/13 at 03:01 PM

mm. yes. i have experienced similar many times. you've captured it with beautiful urgency. lovely. :)

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