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The Train Ride Home.

In Between.

I sat there in between two train cars, next to the electric box, crammed
next to the fire extinguisher, next to the luggage compartment,
next to the trash bin flipped sideways, so the
two friends could sit side by side, as a tall thin man with a curved bushy mustache
chained-smoked Marlboro cigarettes.
If not for the kindness of my two new friends
I would have been thrown from the train at the next stop
for want of a full price ticket, being short the cost by my forgetfulness,
kindness gained by swapping
stories, maybe like the ones my grandfather use to tell
when he travelled alone.

I sat between two train cars, as the beast of a machine pulled
us forward, floated effortlessly over the tracks
like a felucca down the Nile non-stop to Cairo, in between
two sides of a story, both tourist and something more,
in a impromptu seat paid in part by my new two friends, where
a young army man not even a foot from me as he reads his txt messages,
both of us sitting on paper head rest covers saved for those
who had actual seats.

I sat between two train cars heading for my new home, defined
by clothes folded on shelves, not
in zip-locked bags nor laid about in small undefined piles,
heading to you, heading to a shower, to wash
off the sticky tobacco smoke now covering my skin, my eyes, my clothes.

I sat between two train cars as doors slammed, carts carrying
food passed, and I headed
home to bed, to this new life that is unfolding
faster than each passing of the towns that fly by the exit door
just inches from my face, as the distinct smell of burning trash outside
wafts trough the cabin and burns my lungs.


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