When the moons of their foreheads

Go dark, when their chugging wheels

Hiss to a stop, when the last engineer

Throws his hat down in disgust,

When the final destinations are abandoned

Like chessboards with missing pieces,

The mind recalls, as if awakening out of a dream,

The boastful puffs of black smoke,

The proud throaty whistle splitting the horizon.


When the locomotives go extinct,

One might recollect a lover’s face

Passing behind glass in another age,

Or a leisurely ride on a hot air balloon.

I recall the great whales,

The shy silverbacks.


When the locomotives go extinct,

The warmth of sun on the tracks

On the last day will turn frozen and cold,

Like old bones, like a language forgotten.

A few locals gather at the station.

A kick at the dirt.






Photo by Tim Drivas