Just as I'm leaving this time
I meet you waiting for a train.
You smell of soap and cheap cologne,
the kind kids buy for their mothers
and teachers at discount stores.
Beneath the scent, I sense your fear
like a ground swirl of bitter memory.
Was it his shadow before a midnight
window in the indivisible dark,
blotting out the hard white stars
and the limbs of leafless trees?
Was it what no longer happened
in your parents' bedroom that
entailed a childhood's end?
The train ratchets by with bars
of light for rich and poor alike.
You know what has transpired
in the hidden coaches, beyond
the walls of private cells,
the self of passive prisons.
Your scars give you away.
Centuries have come and gone
in the flash of a passing station
since my arrival in this era of
hidden passions and unspoken ties.
Take my hand and lie down with me
between these tracks that reach
to the event horizon and back again,
where even the death of an insect
can change the past forever.