September 2021

Back to Issue 10

Late Night Thoughts

By Dominic Symes

you’re sitting on a train 

looking out the window 

at all the things you said

            but didn’t really mean 


you pass all the jokes you laughed at 

without really understanding them 


all the jokes you told that weren’t so much jokes

as they were little microaggressions of truth


there’s a long tunnel fast approaching 

     you pass through it 

& are thrust into darkness


travelling at great speed 

beneath the immense weight

of all the things you said in an argument

which came out of your mouth

before you really knew what you were saying 


exiting the tunnel the light is piercing 

& the train shows no sign of stopping


past all the times you said you’d read an article

when in truth you’d only read the headline


followed in quick succession 

by all the messages you saw 

but didn’t reply to 


all the loyalty schemes you signed up to

only to harbour years of frustration

at all the spam 


it only seems to be going faster


poems fly past 

that were better in the dream 

than they were in the first draft 


a forest like a screen of trees

the taller ones protruding 

chances you had to connect with other humans

but chose to stay at home instead


scenes strobing past the window


posts you retweeted on a whim 


rounds of drinks bought for you 

that you never got to pay back


amber lights you drove through 

knowing they were red


looking around for one of those emergency brakes

to pull & you can’t see one


there is no one else in the carriage: only you 

the lack of other voices shocks you 


like every time you sang along

to the n word in a song


even though no one heard you 

your heart skips a beat at the thought


no, you wouldn’t ever again 


the sound of the wheels against the rails

grinds out a constant rhythm 

a pulse


every classic piece of literature

you lied about reading


every Hitchcock or Miyazaki film 

you lied about seeing


every night you went back to someone’s place

& got into bed with them

even though you were both too drunk to really 

know if it was vibe or not

& then


you’re sitting on a train

looking out of the window


wishing it would stop 


& asking yourself 

again & again

why a train?