On Tracks (2015)

Video and writing, 2015. This piece can also be found, along with other writing, on Laura’s blog appear to disappear.

Train journeys
These days
Pull at my insides
With a grip
So intensely,
Sweetly sorrowful,
I wonder
What has changed
Some grief upsets
My internal balance,
Gives me sea legs,
As my eyelids
Through town and country,
City to city,
Smarting in my heart,
In my belly
And wondering
If I’ll be the same
When I alight.

I recall a time
When I scattered ashes
On the train tracks
Of Rotterdam
In the hope that I
Could send someone I love
To places
He had
Never been,
Hadn’t even dreamed,
But probably
Would like.
The action seems
So mediocre
Now, as I
Consider how
The rest of him
Sits dormant
In my room in
Until I can bear
To breathe him in
And out
Into air
And earth
And soil
And soul
And iron
And wheels.

So now each time
I take a train
I think about
The souls
Around the wheels
And in their tracks.
I’m reminded of
The many
Losses I have felt
From city
To city
As I invest myself too heavily
In every handshake,
Every glance,
Every story,
Every song,
All dances
And chance meetings
With strangers
Who become friends.

Every loss I feel now,
Borne of change,
Brings with it
That smarting grief,
Now faint,
That once was whole
And effervescent
Through my tissues;
Sometime lifting,
Tripping me up,
Putting breaks
Into my body
Where once,
My self continued on.

So, imagine,
As I board my train
And take my seat,
As I occupy
This carriage
Or pass through it
To the next,
Imagine how many ashes
Are within me,
The back of my throat
And tempting a choke
That I resist.
I relive each loss,
With every
Beneath me.
Imagine if
I lost you once,
Even if
You returned,
Imagine how
It hurts
To replay,
In front of strangers.
At this time of year
And in the heat,
When my emotions
To my eyebrows
And I’m holding
The weight of losses.
Imagine me
And think
A kind thought
Or better yet,
Say it.
I might not tell
Often enough
How I’ve lost
My footing
Even though
The train has stopped
And I am still.