train

look! there’s a neon train galloping in the sky;
look, it’s looking at me.
i’m so special it’s gonna run over me,
darling, you know right?

i’m tiptoeing on the highway rails,
last evening i sat down there, beside the asphalt
i’m eating those pebbles like they’re tiny hearts;
my mouth is bloody,
don’t come here you’ll be stained.

the neon train has tiny windows,
like the ones i used to draw in notebooks
at the back of the class,
hoping no one would notice me there.
so tiny windows, yes,
there’s an awful lot of eyes peeping out of that thing.

i try to count them all and give them names,
sometimes i give them all the same name,
sometimes i name them after extinct fishes,
i tell them stories about ophelia
and the stars and my day and my-

why didn’t you stop me,
i’ve been blabbering about myself,
how are you my dear,
are you breathing,
i mean to say,
do you also see the neon train,
or do they come in planes for you.
i’ve always liked the way trains hold themselves together,
when you stand between two coaches
and you think you’re going to fall,
they somehow hold themselves together.

i think i’ve always been jealous of trains,
i try to walk like the holes in my bones
are just those shaky places in trains,
and i don’t stop when they try to run over me,
this is why i’m not a car sweetie,
cars stop for pedestrians,
trains run like they have to,
a horse on a race track,
but there’s no rider just a whip.

meenal jhajharia