Sometimes it feels like a rushing-by river bank
A burrowed brown cliff-mosaic dappled in clay
Or dishes of lobster and prawns on a table, scanned
(red antennae on the infinite white linen)
But more often it feels like a train.

A bull-nosed, trans-continent, deep-klaxoned monster
That once wound the Rockies but now crosses stars
Its headlights first lost in a constellate cluster
(and tail by the blackness of space all hidden)
Until the gleaming finale starts

And I cusp; that moment of careless ecstasy
Unbreathing, unthinking, in balance for a stretch of elastic time
As in magical silence the train pulls before me
(in the gap between Earth and a grand moon)
Reddened by a stop-light's shine

I fall from the edge. The light turns green. I spasm
At full speed the train bursts away from its starting line
To arc gracefully half -way round this cloudy blue planet
(till it looks like a toy-train around a balloon)
And vanish on the far side

Afterwards, Zoe lays between my legs and watches my scrotum
Its post-coital moves; the taught skin relaxes, unfurls
Like a whirlpool, continental shift, the wind rippling a tarpaulin
(she says it's one of the seven wonders of the world)
But I know that in truth what she's watching is really
The receding red lights of the train

Andrew Starling

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