In the marrowbone of night,
your song parts the fog.

I never knew the secrets entrusted there.

I never knew that cinders and steel
could lie so passionately

and still believe that the watchman’s hours
would evaporate and leave us scratching for more.

I have stolen time.

The windows remain closed and shuttered.
Even the wind turns away.

The track narrows.

You call.



Sometimes song seems the only respite,
the rhythm of clashing cars

and moments stretched beyond the next bend
to that point where light winks out.

We both know this lonely tunnel.

Payment is due.

I have always exited alone.


Another evening, and red smoke completes the horizon.

Your ribs stretch for distance,
and while I cannot see their end,
I know by sound
their lot.

Sing for me.
It is not
too close.

“Trains” was originally published in Lightning’d Press (Issue 8) in Spring of 2014, was reprinted on Aubade Rising in April, 2015, and has appeared here several times. It is also included in my chapbook, If Your Matter Could Reform.


22 thoughts on “Trains

  1. So evocative, Bob. A particular ex — who remains very present in memory — lives near the tracks here, and when I hear those lonesome whistles, I always feel a twinge of regret, longing, sadness. You’ve perfectly captured all of this and more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is an absolutely stunning piece. The imagery is so evocative, and pulls the reader through the landscape of this poem. I love the lines “In the marrowbone of night,
    your song parts the fog.” The effect is almost physical for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Always the (Trains) and their stations, REPRESENTED our feeling to whispering (sometimes screaming) to their steel and gravel, that we have a lot of stories and songs scratching the soul of us.

    Its beautiful piece, I had been enjoyed read it

    Liked by 2 people

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