The dead stand on platforms
in the rain, cases stuffed
to bulging. They travel beside you.
Out the window fields
unribbon like film reels,
clouds gather over the hills.
The train slows to a halt
between stations. Your watch
has stopped, your timetable's expired.
The rain has washed away the view.
You are a postcard,
ephemeral, full of pleasantries.
What you meant to say trails off.
The dead stare straight ahead.
They do not talk about the weather.
They have no special needs.
They are a closed book.
You will never know
how it ends.
after Ochre Figure on Black by George Dannett
We make the journey blind, headlights
seeking the here and now, a piece
of tarmac, its pale yellow line
measuring distance in yards, creatures
with high-beam eyes who stare, then dart
into the black. The aperture
of night opens; we yield to the dark
closing on our future,
breathe the cool air, dust and mildew,
sharp musk of dream.
As we move forward, we look back;
a daguerreotype of shadows,
a map to guide us to the past,
the veiled land of home.