November 16th, 2011

poetry, exceptindreams

1326: Conductor | Karen Greenbaum-Maya

"Conductor"
Karen Greenbaum-Maya

Suicide by train is also popular in many developed countries. Without ready access to firearms, suicidal people often turn to trains. —Der Spiegel, July 27, 2011

Once it happens you can’t remember
how you started out: innocent,
barreling into the tunnel,
shooting out at each station
like a dolphin out of a dim green pool.
Pneumatic doors inhale open, puff shut,
lock with a solid thump.

Up and down the line, fifty times a day,
it’s a long slow song. You
feel the rumble as much as hear it.
In your dim green trance
the words retain wonder:
Vorsicht, Türe werden geschloßen.
Caution, the doors are closing.

Then the first time:
someone decides darkness will answer,
hides out in the tunnel,
steps out in front of the train
like he knows where he’s going,
steps out at you, dying at you,
knowing you can’t stop in time.

Now each time the doors close,
they seal you in. You are a human bullet
shot into the tunnels, hoping no one
will block the light far ahead,
each station one minute’s reprieve.




On this day in...
2010: "'Hope' is the thing with feathers" by Emily Dickinson and "Smoke" by Alison Townsend
2009: "Beyond the Ash Rains" by Agha Shahid Ali
2008: Weekend, no poem
2007: "Prayer" by Carol Ann Duffy

walk between the rain drops to keep dry.