The compartment car is mostly steel

Or some approximate

Covered with the languid stains left

Of embarkation


Has thick calves

A girl told her once, as they sat cross-legged deciding whether to emulate

A kissing scene from The Breakfast Club

She was no Molly, her legs had strength, once she danced from midnight to 5am in a cage

For fifty dollars and now she knows

How long she can stand, without needing to stop.

The linoleum is probably doused in chemicals

Every Thursday by a white haired man with heavy shoulders, from stooping

Her skin touched the plastic, hotly

And like a rejected lover, pulled away, only to return when

The train drew a breath and weazed into another

Convulsion of movement

Her hands

Prematurely wrinkled

From painting and the liberal use of terpentine

Back then she paid no heed, dropping cigarette ash

Hoping for fire.

A lover once remarked

On the halo her blonde hair made

He said she was a Botticelli angel

She could never give him a decent hand job

After that.

As the train lurches into the future

Whiskering through wilds with man-made egotism

She felt the coolness of her underwear

The rise and fall of her perfumed arms, pressed in unnatural obedience

A scab on her elbow begin to itch

The dark shapes scurrying beyond

Her artificially lit box

And anything

Just then

Was absurd and fast and possible


13 thoughts on “Cross-legged

  1. This all captivates me. But one part demands to stay with me:

    Back then she paid no heed, dropping cigarette ash

    Hoping for fire.

  2. Your metaphor and simile puts he reader (me) in the rail car, waiting in the station for the journey to begin. Feeling as if the lady sitting across liked to talk …

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