Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


An Evening Train

whistles past hacked-down fields of corn, 
heading towards a boy who whittles 
an effigy of himself. We go on sleeping 
through sirens and crimson strobes 
flashing on remains no one can identify 
till we line up at dawn to see who's 
missing. At the zoo this morning, a girl 
found half-devoured in a moat, two lions 
licking their chops, Little Rock, Arkansas 
the only proof left on her body to show 
how far she was from home, a tattered copy 
of The Odyssey later found in her purse. 
Did she love her life? We warn our children 
not to lay their ears down on the tracks 
in wintertime, knowing how it's not 
always best to know what's coming our way.

Credit


First published in Boulevard. Copyright © 1999 by Timothy Liu. Reprinted by permission of the author. All rights reserved.

Author


Timothy Liu

Timothy Liu (Liu Ti Mo) is the author of Luminous Debris: New & Selected Legerdemain 1992-2017 (Barrow Street Books, 2018), among other books.

Date Published: 1999-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/evening-train