when the last service departs
and it is always too early, you will want
to go back to that first
with her. you have left something of yourself
unattended when the train plunges
through a tunnel, and you leap, briefly,
into that other life where you were held once.
the double-glazed glass refracts
the tilting sun, a burning both inside
and out. unchecked hope is a turning
back. do you recognise this person?
you know something only
of the first few moments after
her. when false intimacy is more familiar
than hope, and you have no imaginary
original. now you collect girls
like loneliness, and it is not the future
folding out beneath you,
but the ghostly imprint of the after-life,
when the cold clear no
of her leaving becomes a lifetime refrain.