Train 640 to Ottawa

 

Miles Davis obvious

she sits across oblivious

a faint wash of smile

as I wipe newspaper fingerprints

of the white surface of the laptop

and insert Sketches of Spain

(it’s lost Canadian producer kept

safely in the liner notes)

trumpet and castanets in old stereo

left-right in new headphones

the clatter and sway of the rail

this way from towers to towns

thru scrubby gaps of the once bush

November spaces between

sprawl’s serrated border

and country, field, rock

the great lake, the great highway

the iron-road an insurgent parallel

she’s a painted character unread

a plain woman asleep

leather jacket, gray slacks

on at Oshawa off to Ottawa

pre-cambrain rumble

tumble of ice mumble

let it be simple science

as the boy and then girl tip syllables

from tongue to language

we could talk about jazz or an ice age

the shield-edge blur past Kingston

white houses with sun-sharp geometry

she’s awake at Brockville

but I stay silent as theory

refusing to be that sly devil

a percussive trumpet protects

from the need to break apart

the constituencies of silence

ignore the dull dialectic

as that train chat swells

like the river’s volume

freezing up Rideau’s old locks

someone happy once being

and the knowing of it

here now at Smith’s Falls

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Published in Misunderstandings Magazine Issue 9