Burnt Orange Train

The hyperreality of a slow-moving train.

Burnt Orange Train

I wandered around the old streets alone

Squared like a chessboard stripped of its hues

Set in weathered brown against the sky’s navy blue

I thought about when we lived on that slow-moving train

Washing espresso down with pilsner, watching the rain


Outside the blotted window, dried drops and finger smudge

All we needed were hand motions and an occasional nudge

A smirk or a nod to see the absurdity of that crystalline moment

Conversing with strange men, crossing bravely a towering barrier


Burnt orange curtains fell down against teal carpet

They fit well there on the caterpillar locomotive, smug and sublime

And the four men, two old, two middle-aged, were a rhyme

Of character of sorts, nothing more, we smoked and we drank

But how they impressed me meant more than I to them, so I send thanks


I whistled and shouted, hanging out the elderly caboose

Blowing out smoke and looking back at the grey-bearded muse

Smiling grimly, my body shivering from the feeling, not the cold

At this point I returned, feeling assured that my lady’d be where she’d said


Back in the bar of the middle car I encountered the two younger men

Wearing tight faces they took my arm, piercing me with their sharp eyes

Turning the corners of their mouths slowly they motioned about

Pretending I understood, I finally did, and it was brutally clear

He’d simply asked if I could sit down, and he could buy me a beer


Much obliged I took his offer – my heart was much too full

as the streets of a Bucharest Friday – my eyes the street lamps’ glow

I grabbed another smoke from my acquaintance’s rough hands

And asked him careful and slow if he’d been anytime to Indiana

The blank look on his face told me an unsurprising no


Or maybe it was indifferent? Hell if I could decipher what he’d said

But nonetheless, I assumed the right answer

And promised if he’d come, he would certainly have a place to stay there

I took his subsequent silence to mean (not that he was rude)

But that he would take me up on my offer – so instead of saying more

I hopped off, leaving a number on a white note between the seat and door

surreal poetry
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Read next: I Am A Bullet.
Keegan Roembke

I am a poet? and I didn't even know it??

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