Train of Thought

This began as a poem. The story chose, instead, a more linear form.

A whistle, a whistle, a blast. Five o’clock jabs to the eye, the skin, the vein and all that is spoken is "ah". The narcotics of my life egg me on, drive me forward, cajole the poetry out of the crevices of my mind. And yet, here I sit, eyes out the window, tongue lolling in the suburban breeze, licking my lips like salted potato chips.

I walk brick by brick, verse by broken verse and yet these platforms are empty of you. Empty of the fuel and fire and slippery edges of you where you were. Of course, I laugh! You were never caught by the perimeter of a photo frame in quite the same way as I. You escaped the narrow field of view – or so you claimed. But for me, that was the project – the big payoff. And one day your greasy smile would be plastered across my lens.

I am back at St Leonards station on a Friday evening. Everyone has cleared out except the residue of life. We sit, plastered on the disused billboards, stuck to the 1970s shopfronts too old to move out of the wind. And how does it scream? There is a tunnel of wind that belts down the highway, following the road, chasing the cars and echoing  off the peopleless buildings.

It is a place emptied of life – except I. All around me I can see it, smell it, trip over its entrails, but this place is only a shell. And I am the lowly mollusc, feeding, feeding, tasting. Until Monday rolls around again, and I roar with the arrival of the lonely crowd.