Twilight Train

By Eileen Myles Eileen Myles
Now the pink is in the water
its wavy edges celebrated
by cars & guys with hands
in pockets staring out. A woman
chewing gum by the window
of the train. Which heaves
its accordion on & we move.
They call it choo-choo
because of the faint chooing
sound as it starts. It's
twee too & dit dit dit
eel & screech. All this as
the colors change. The buildings
they bothered to paint
white are pink like
someone's awful socks
were mistakenly
washed. Who owns
this insidious red. The
trees are black
cause that's where the green
goes. The girl who chews
has fanned her fingers
out below the glass
and I long to stare
at them. To count
them one by one
as the wires slip
by. It's the sultriness,
the smokey approach
of the loss of
light that I love. The
homosexual lilac
comes & it's ours
& everyone like us. The
bright compartment
of white lights &
gleaming flip top &
yawns rage
on. Outside the Hudson
River queerness tools
on my brain like
a hopeless little
wallet of feeling. A clear
swipe to night. Everyone
in my compartment
is tearing now. It's true,
I heard two sheets
at once get torn
to pluck a brownie
out. Its smell
oozes, & the other
one, god knows
whose—to park
her gum? Her hands
are holding her
head, my silent
partner's & she's
sleeping (deep in my gaze.) I look
at her knees, the wrinkled
foot just above
the heel, a yellowish
unmoody pink. The trees
crowd the house &
finally we go fast
finally it's not so
warm on the train
& boats are sitting
on purple sand
the mountains
are bland & blue
a woman's sigh
is falling
off, from on
high and
into her body.
My partner's
knees sway.
Someone says
Proust. Or was
it Bruce. The train
is rough. Cutting
through sweetness
every night.
I think "time."
Then "cargo."

Eileen Myles, "Twilight Train" from School of Fish, published by Black Sparrow Press (Godine). Copyright © 1997 by Eileen Myles.  Reprinted by permission of the author.

Source: School of Fish (Black Sparrow Press, 1997)

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Poet Eileen Myles

Subjects Relationships, Home Life

 Eileen  Myles

Biography

Eileen Myles was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1949, was educated in Catholic schools, graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Boston in 1971, and moved to New York City in 1974 to be a poet. She gave her first reading at CBGB's, and then gravitated to St. Mark's church where she studied with Ted Berrigan, Alice Notley and Bill Zavatsky. She has published more than a dozen volumes of poetry and fiction including Not . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Home Life

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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