Saturday, June 25, 2011

Un Départ by Invitation

Train Ride to Detroit
by Michelle Darnay

«Le trafic sur la ligne B est fortement perturbé.
Traffic on the B line is highly unpredictable.
El trafico en la liña B esta muy perturbado. »

People worry. People read. People type.
People sit, ears sprouting wire, white and black,
Ears hidden beneath mushroom-shaped growths.
People sleep, heads resting on 
Glass leaving greasy spots.
Men in white shirts knot ties,
Wipe pant legs, shine shoes,
Preparing for service.

Train jiggles, jostles, rushes.
Black clouds lean across grey skies
Yet willow fronds hang still;
Sparse yellow flowers push up between
Rock and rail;
Lush ivy drapes thickly over
Concrete walls, broken buildings;
Lively graffiti peeks through
Green masses, dazzles on
Heavy highway pillars.

Hearts race, too fast,
Caffeine driven, stress stimulated;
Breath comes short, chests rise and fall,
Fall and rise, too quickly;
A feeling of pressure between
Ribs, lungs never fully, fully full.
Eyes search for beauty.
Out the window, cars inch in lines between
High, high trucks.

«Ce train a pour terminus l’aéroport Charles de Gaulle.
The terminus of this train is Charles de Gaulle airport.
El final del tren esta el aéropuetro Charles de Gaulle.»

Train flies and stops, flies and stops.
In a tunnel, blackness flashes,
Electric light is then isn’t rhythmically,
Pure sound howls then whistles as
Train exits tunnel.

Eyes find beauty,
Nose finds pleasure :
African women wrap chubby babies
On to backs with
Cloth of exuberant shades;
Butterfly head-dresses stand alert,
One round, black shoulder bared,
Panther-soft skin visible,
Exotic perfume spices the air.
With bags and babies ready, they alight.


«Je ne parlerai à personne là-bas, pendant les deux mois !
I won’t speak to anyone for two months straight!»

Daughter vomits. Daughter drinks,
Pees, whines, smiles, hugs,
Zigzags away toward
Bluer landscapes.
Waves once more,
Eyes bright over
Narrowed shoulders, hair shiny,
My tall, tall, little girl off
To Detroit.

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