SOMETIMES YOU ARE REWARDED IF YOU LOOK UP AT THE RIGHT TIME

I can see the fair, unmoving but just lit, through the double panes of the train window.

It must be opening soon, and I like that – seeing a thing before
it knows you’re watching, a body waking up beside you. See, four men
in all black stand semi-circle facing the train and hold their own arms.
One is staring at the ground as you might if you’re bored and listening to your
not-really-friend tell you about a girl they just met or if they think anyone
has been run over on that very train right there because it happens, you know?
And the man is holding his arms and listening and nodding but not really thinking about that
because its too painful, and he’s convinced of the immortality of himself
and everyone in his life (he’s pretty sure at least), and it’s a very nice ground to stare at,
because it’s so ill-kept you can see rocks through the patches, which reminds him
of the yard work he has waiting or the sunspots on his boss’ scalp,
but I’m in the tunnel now. And the man is not, and the fair opens in an hour (probably),
and the woman in front of me is trying to scream through the tunnel into her cell,
apologizing, apologizing. I’ve spent most of the ride watching the way
her hair holds unmoving from the back of her neck despite the humidity,
the sway of the train car. It’s commitment at the very least. Someday,
I’ll tell you all this, how bowerbirds court with a nest laid in color,
how I make a home of the small parts of strangers.

[Summer 2015]

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