There are two words intrinsic to the tracks
Not ‘departure’ and ‘arrival’; too mechanical.
Coal in the engine, ink of the blueprints,
dead signs sneer above meaningless destinations.
Be on your way now, you’ll find nobody here
Nor the two ‘farewell’s severing a connection
like wagons uncoupling: were we ever a pair?
The conductor hides his lies, tips his hat;
the question leaves the station
the answer drowned out with a whistle
What about ‘leaving’ and ‘staying’? One left behind,
tears trail from second class to your cheek.
the sunset limns her hair, the sun sets with her.
The train has left; you’ve nothing left of her
Yet the station thrums with laughter and speech
Maybe a stranger pair: ‘waiting’ and ‘hoping’:
if only the train would speed up, to hell with safety regulations!
howls your desperation to be there, damn this isolation
inside a train that smells of separation, like the tracks
could diverge at any second. He could leave at any second
But petrichor is the scent of what’s been done, not what is to come.
The water what has become the rain has a purpose,
it’ll put out a fire somewhere, or lessen a thirst (of open-mouthed children
sheltered within the shade)
nothing obliges the water to always rain on your parade
The conductor smiles, “depart for arrival,”
His farewell, a knowing half-truth, he tips his hat.
Leaving is heading for wherever you’ll stay,
hope is knowing you’ll get there, perhaps on the next.
(there’s more than that one melodramatic train.) Just wait.
There’s really just one word intrinsic to the tracks,
to the station, too. Nothing drastic, definitely more mellow
than most would think.
Step out of the train and meet her eyes.
There’s no “goodbye”