Sally Considers Taking the Train Away

by | Mar 16, 2023 | Poetry

SALLY CONSIDERS TAKING THE TRAIN AWAY by Rachel Custer

Behind its whistle, the train gathers
her gaze, skipping like a pebble

toward anyplace else. (As if away
was a place she might belong.

As if away was a song.)

Sally’s eyes desired
a city full of men

to pocket their cries like afterthoughts.

In the city no man loves
you like a country

man loves you, with cold hands
roughened by early work.

What woman needs it anyway?

that particular gentleness
men save for mornings after

fields? City: a proliferation of eyes,
unmet. City: a nakedness.

Strutting around like god
knows who might see.


Photo by Hendrik Wieduwilt, used and adapted under CC.

About The Author

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Rachel Custer is an NEA fellow (2019) and the author of Flatback Sally Country (Terrapin Books, forthcoming) and The Temple She Became (Five Oaks Press, 2017). Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in many journals, including Rattle, OSU: The Journal, B O D Y, The American Journal of Poetry, The Antigonish Review, Open: Journal of Arts & Letters (OJAL), among others. She currently resides online at rachelcuster.wordpress.com.