Abend (10:101)

In Köln, each triangle picks at the dome; spines work their way, out of the scaffolds and stainless girders, into spires.

A brown even sky with light fixtures in the dents; her mouth overlaid by a few beads of frost on the train window in transit.

The station's metal wrists. Traced white with snow. A ministry of interstice. Of atoms tensed inside a crystal lattice.

The fiberglass shudders. She holds down his knee to steady them. Pins the other against the side rail. You were sleeping.

Are we there?

We pass as two shapes may assume a form of love. If just in passing. In the seats across a slender man bends over a book placed

At his knees. His daughter rests a flashlight on his shoulder, her ear pressed firmly to his jaw. Should he be whispering?

A tree. Lit momentarily in the passing. Train lights. Quickly it grows. Ductile. And cannot hold to its shape. What sound

Now grows with you? I am not standing. In a steel extension of when snow. Was not heavy before metal. But light on one spoon.

The overlook passes. The cathedral arrows. From the small lungs inside her. A coughing; it crowns. To the rounded south.

First published in Colorado Review. Copyright © 2008 by Jonathan Thirkield. From The Waker's Corridor (Louisiana State University Press, 2009). Used by permission of the author.