Into jamming tunnels
Of coral tile and soaking breath
Is of cornfire and hot black pork)—
Walking once again
Into the brother of a wide grave—;
Watching the faces of
Those at platform-edge, watching
The pallor, the jaundice
Overslid by the creeping headlights
Of the local service;
Watching the rocket-lit path of the
Carriages as they bruise,
Scraping into the locked enclosure;
It is only natural
To tire and grow confused, to feel
A softly growing urge to sleep,
The confusion of death and life,
To know no body from a shell,
No syllable from its giving mouth,
No sense from its sound.
It is nature in its pink-deepest mood,
That place we rarely cross.
All in carriage,
Little bodies and little tasks,
Rolling on, through incommodious
Space, into places
Even vaguer: lanes of blush-mote,
Territories of xeno-species, where
Rainbow carapaces dull
In orbswell of plunking southlights.
At some stage the command-
Spirits will make their cameo:
An iteration of us will reform.
But even there we may find only
The same yellow threshold,
The same sweeping lightbeams—
Owen Lucas is a British writer living in Norwalk, Connecticut. His poetry, fiction, and translations have been published in more than fifty journals in the U.S., Britain, and Canada. He is an editor-at-large at Potluck Magazine. Look for new work in upcoming issues of Plume, Sakura Review, Really System, Monarch Review, Big Lucks and Tribe. For more: owenlucaspoems.com.