Classrooms buried underground,
a breath, a cough, a teacher,
where every window was a riddle
and we were mute behind the glass,
where the chord of chords still sounded
from each bell to the last.
I was frail paper with pencilled veins,
a helpless diorama, a divide by zero,
an overflow and underflow,
a distillation of reticence and fear,
listening for the silent voice.
You must shed your skin,
you must survive
where the streetlight moons
Let’s discuss the schedules of the trains,
but first a cup of tea. Shallowness
well-dressed, profound invisibility.
They condense the ghosts with liquid air,
and when they’re solid and afraid,
they load them into carriages
and ship them east to west.
The timetable I’ve perfected
ensures they never stop at stations
where humans might be waiting.
What? You find the topic boring?
Let me tell you of the late-night traveller,
impatient in the Redfern underground,
when her train arrived in a cloud of steam.
She saw her fellow passengers
far too late, their icy stares,
their hollow thoughts.
It doesn’t make sense?
No, I don’t know why she didn’t recognize
a steam train filled with cryogenic ghosts.
Touch me, don’t touch me,
four thimbles of electric venom,
plastic soldiers marching, never looking back,
a soft desire to reconcile geometry:
the tetrahedron, the quarktet.
Be careful as you race to put
the pieces back together—
one is always missing.
The stone grey light of deeper dreams
is fading, querida, with the failure
of the darkness.
It won’t hide you when it slips away.
You’ll still be here, where I never was,
and for neither of us,
artwork always sorry (part above)