Eliza Kelley



Albany to New York   turn away from the door  

run back upstairs to the platform   heels

clicking  freeze frame   dark windows   donít

go   stop running at opposites   he canít see

out   you canít see in   end of the reel   tracks

transpose   you stand inverted   negative splice  


to another train window   the distance   not such

a long way down   tracks bolted to ties   inside

the trading post candy store   you wait for Chicago

to Arlington Heights    hands eyes nose breath lips

imprint display cases   she says donít touch   stop

touching that glass   you sit down   fingertips


trace cinnamon sugar  wedged   between beveled

floorboards looking back at you from their shine  

the gloss of too many   rock candy bouquets  

in trade for the face   contorted   the body swollen  

obese over skinny shins standing in dark plates  

snapshot windows   commuter train tracks   bolted


to ties    the distance   not such a long way down  

sandals to saddle shoes   parallel steel   on wood  

on gravel   mallet to iron spike   artillery shrapnel

to skull   where the scar glides over gin sweat

on his forehead   sweat through gin hands   black

and blue shaken into your shoulders   heat on his


breath   listen to me   listen he says    it wasnít

the sound of the knife scraping a sternum    it was

the warm liquid   my hands   were so cold   the air  

was so cold   I remember steam rising   from

the flow over my grip   steam from his last word

spoken   a language I couldnít understand   his head


back   his eyes looking up at me    clots gurgling


under his helmet chin strap I wanted him   to wait

I wanted to know   but he fell back   I said donít

do that   donít fall away   listen   give me your hand  

take me back   to the pulsing   yes   like that   good

to me   baby is so good   see   itís not so bad   not


such a long way down   ties and bolts   tracks leap

down   holographic departure   wait at the dark

window   please touch the scar   wheels rumble theft  

clang spike serrated edge to bone   love left behind

love destroyed   standing alone   dust cloud skin sparkle  

eyes debris sting  that is pain   that is pain

Copyright © 2003 Eliza Kelley.  All Rights Reserved.

Home Next