Poems from the train


— —
— — —
Amtrak Train 49, Lake Shore Limited
New York Penn Station, 3:55 PM ET departure
to Chicago Union Station, 9:45 AM CT expected arrival
1 July 2009; 5:50 AM, Eastern Time

Then,
there are flecks of gold
in the air,
rain catching the sun
as it falls,
and I don’t know
what we are celebrating
or whether we are mourning.
The sky grows light
despite the attempt to chase
darkness
as the train races west.

— — — —
Amtrak Train 3, Southwest Chief
Chicago Union Station, 3:15 PM CT departure
to Los Angeles Union Station, 8:15 AM PT (3 July) expected arrival
1 July 2009; 7:28 PM, Central Time

My love affair
with water
began before I knew
that to have water
was to have life.
I want to throw myself
from the bridge
and let it take me—
not to die,
but to embrace me.

— — — —
Amtrak Train 3, Southwest Chief
Chicago Union Station, 3:15 PM CT departure
to Los Angeles Union Station, 8:15 AM PT (3 July) expected arrival
1 July 2009; 9:24 PM, Central Time

That flash of light
wasn’t lightening, or,
left as it is,
even dangerous.
In the darkness,
everyone is a
moth to the flame.
It was a street lamp,
orange, like fire.

Viannah E. Duncan

Viannah E. Duncan is a writer and activist hailing originally from Los Angeles. She lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. She has a cat, Cleo.

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