Oct/Nov 2007 Poetry

The girl on the train

by Kimberly L. Becker

The girl on the train

to Venice is asleep with her lithe
legs drawn up,
her bare feet propped
under the window.
Her head is bowed
like a swan's to its plumage
we think, self-conscious of our thought.

Before, when the girl had gone to pee,
her mother had confided that her daughter is a swimmer
and on her way to meet her boyfriend from Slovenia.
She (the mother) is banking on a break-up.

As the train nears the station
the girl, flushed and almost beautiful, rouses
and blinks, guileless against the light
and the heat,
forgetting altogether for a moment
that she is in another country
from the one she recently inhabited in dreams.

We forget with her, borne as we are over water into this city of water
atop rotting pilings
(all our dreams are ever built on).
Still they hold.


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