“…you’re a train and I’m a trainstation

and when I try to guess your trajectory I end up telling my own story.”—Richard Siken

You are a train. I am a trainstation. It is two AM and you lay sleeping in my sheets, and I am surprised that years ago I never predicted how formidable this trap would be once we shared state lines. You’ve held my hand loosely these days and I’ve held harder ‘till you could see the whites of my knuckles, like how my father used to have me hold one of his fingers, grasping it with shaking strength crossing speckled snow parking lots to the ski lodge. You read my diary months ago, and when I was waiting for you to be angry you pressed your lips hard against mine and I felt the wrinkled corners of your smile, reminding me of that laugh that always made me feel full. Don’t worry. I love you. It’s okay. But you cut the crusts off your sandwiches, and I wait in vain for the day that all of me will be good enough for you.

You are a train. I am a trainstation. It is two AM and you lay sleeping in my sheets, and I wonder again where your mind is, about your stops on your trip back to the north, how you were fracturing heart strings, and if you did this on purpose when you thumb tacked me straight on walls and told me to be perfect. And told me to be strong. It’s strange to think of all the ways someone can influence your life—an effort to please them, I think, is the most common. Like when you dated the girl who took pictures of wounds, how I wanted to be the one healing them. Or when you dated that blond, how I more than ever wanted to dwell inside of my books. Or all those times you were dating me. When you were dating me, and said that I was perfect, that I was good, that I always pushed you. Except for when I wasn’t good enough. Except for when you, again, were walking away. Too scared? Too bored? I never knew where you were going, but I knew where I was. I knew it because I was healing wounds, and I was writing it down in books.

You are a train. I am a trainstation. It is two AM and you lay sleeping in my sheets, and I am surprised that I let you crawl in there. But patient me and fickle you, I can’t help from waiting for my A-train, my Red Line, while you walk along rusty train tracks kicking up dirt with careless steps. I touch you and I am elbow-deep in diamonds, not quite breaking everything in my grasp, but ruining it nonetheless. I watch the sun rising yellow, pink, on my walls—“I guess it’s just that broken heart of yours,” you’d say—and see your shadows pressing in within in it, frankensteined and different each morning. You bite your lip in your dream, and I wonder how I am stuck in this nightmare again.

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