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.