The Train Home

by Clara Allison


                              for the James Webb Space Telescope 


And those are pictures that don’t age,
the plumed nebulas like our holy towers,

a trillion lighted bodies locked
in orbital dance.

What sharp card of causal chance
that we crossed paths.

A precise choreography of random fluke,
an actuality of is and is

A credentialed shrink once taught me
to put fabric to my mouth and breathe in
to soothe a racing heart––

the car of strangers lurches
forward on tracks.

The once unbroken slants of
window light fracture in question

and we tunnel into
blanketing dark.

Years away planets collide.
Here species wink out;

bullets zip through exhausted air
and into elementary schools

while tuxedoed and wrinkled
billionaires waltz
like they own time.

At nineteen silver shards
the jet dark of my hair­­.

I inhale now incase we
aren’t promised then.

No sound escaped the gravity of my body
when they had me unearthed

from my mother, only a vacant quell.
The quiet of watching a spool unfurl.

Once after laying lips
on the freckle-
flecked skin of a girl

stars exploded

and heat bloomed like creation.

Mothers often bear daughters
they can’t understand.

The train keeps on moving.
Possibly we end
as we began.


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