April 1998 / Volume One / Issue Two
Courtney Boxell
Via Train, Via Flight

I hope that poet taught
you a lesson
that night when
he returned
home to his metropolis
to die
in his sleep on
the commuter train
continuing his travel
past the end of the line,
breast-stroking through viscous space,
airborne,
transitioning toward the next
segment of coil.

You, too, went home
to die, though not so
quietly.
Nearly four years ago,
in a studio atop an auto shop,
a gunman's clean shot
embedded itself above
your eye, but

you opted no release, no
cutting of
the twine, ever
the buoyant sphere affixed
to a tiny wrist.

You're not lost,
just polite,
contesting the fairness
of a head start.
Though I treasure our
dialogues and drunken sing-alongs,
you must continue, must allow
me to catch up
to you.  It's time
to learn what
real solitude
is.

I can promise to pilgrimage
to your gravesite,
to tattoo my tailbone
with out story,
to untie the string and watch
you rise, fading
into the atmosphere,
but only if you promise me
you'll accelerate,
leaving me earthbound,
determined to make up
for too many
stops
on my line.
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