There’s a train and it’s rolling,

pumping steam from coal,

shifting its elements and

transporting its shipments

of notorious people

who don’t understand.

There’s a woman with fur shoulders,

promenading the aisle

as she sips on her sherry

and her husband smokes,

looking at a pretty young

thing on the other

side of the ball.

The velvet seats are red

and their cold faces are flushed,

delving into a winter

that they cannot predict.

So they sit on the train

in relative silence,

forming thoughts they cannot

explain to the limited minds

of their partners.

Separated by glass windows

and wooden floors,

they are each their own little train,

pumping smoke from their burning embers.

The women are boiling inside,

trying to keep themselves alive

in such extremities, trying to cool

themselves off with sherry and champagne

because the men are boiling outside

as they stare at the pretty young things

that remind them of missed chances.

The sun has set in the west,

but that was twenty years ago.

The men live in the nighttime,

dreaming of paperwork and lousy kisses.

Everyone is smoking and the train is

unbearably thick with regret and lost options.

But it is supposed to be afternoon by the time they arrive.

It is an all-night trip that will require

patience and a little pretending.

After all, this is not a promenade; this is a train.

It carries people from one thing to the next. That is all.

Go back to your smoking and sipping and wait a little while.

The morning will bring you a new destination.


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