Bernadette Geyer |
Praise the glorious distance of Train.
Dogs bark, reply to the mournful echo of Train's whistle.
Train looks back, keeps moving.
Train carries its boxcars of secrets further and further away (and even further still) from those who profess to love Train, but who do not run after him.
Eyes brimmed with glassy reflections of Train.
To watch Train pass is to feel your life as a single low note quiver from the rough pads of your toes to the stooped hunch of your shoulders.
To watch Train pass is to feel the vibrato of your first singular thought trilling in your ears, casting inward to slide the escarpment of your throat, until Train shudders the memory in the hollow of your belly.
Train leaves and returns like an abusive lover: the completion of necessary cycles.
Machinery joined, unjoined, loud and effusive.
Belligerent Train no sooner announces his arrival and is gone again, to another town, another set of rails against which to preen.
Can you feel Train's fist inside you? Can you feel the assault with the strength of ten thousand wishes blown from the head of a dandelion?
Train is gone and not gone.
For us, Train is the still-warm track we know does not disappear, but even continues to exist outside our sight range.
We trust in the existence of Train, even when we can no longer see him.
We believe in Train even when the night's silence fights our ears.
We await the coming of Train even when the unbelievers tell us Train is not expected.
We imagine Train's call and response like a cantor and a choir.
We pray to Train for the cleansing of our sins.
Train shall be evermore.
We sit on the tracks.
Bernadette Geyer |
And so I look back
still thinking of her
with painful heart,
this clench of inner flesh.
Praise the irritant, that genesis,
implanted within the soft
and malleable animal that bore you.
Your brethren strung around my neck,
dangling from my earlobes.
The imperfections the jeweler slights, I praise.
Artifact of a biological process,
why do we expect
symmetry from a grain of sand?
Praise the oblong beauty
of you, solidified raindrops,
your stony quietude.
Let me praise the waters that bestow
your milky luster,
worshipped to ensure a bountiful hunt.
Manyoshu poems praised the ama,
female divers, who collected you,
as gently as quail eggs.
Let me rub you against my teeth to test
the veracity of you, roll you
around my tongue to weigh your heft.
The heart clenches, hides its moon
Would that I, too, could build
a radiant world around a bitter nucleus.