March 2018

Back to Issue 3


By Rebecca Jessen

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.