Sky Train, Morning

Who travels the Sky Train today?

Outlaw, lover, pilgrim, composer.

 

Outlaw wears blue denim jeans, black leather jacket,

hair, butch cut.

Tattoo, intricate red and green vine,

twines round his neck.

Each long finger joint, embossed with a single letter.

Shiny, black-stoned ring on fourth finger, right hand.

He stands in the doorway,

surveying the crowd, as a poet might,

bemused by his fellow passengers

and their tedious, repetitive, humdrum lives,

alert for any other dark force, travelling with us,

on the Train in the Sky, today.

 

Pilgrim is laden, awkwardly manoeuvring,

with backpack, wheeled suitcase,

and black cloth shopping bag.

Happy and eager, beginning her journey,

morning-bright.

Going to home, relatives, friends

or an adventure on an island

or up a mountain.

 

Lover has a gentle, soft face,

an inward smile of ease and contentment.

Riding to work, work he enjoys,

though he’ll long to return to his lover

at the end of the day

and let her embrace him

and envelop him in love and desire.

 

Composer, strangely silent.

Young, gaunt, long black overcoat.

Scribbling music notation

madly in his notebook,

varieties of music manuscript paper,

quartet, piano, ensemble.

Ideas—flashes and flurries—

flowing from ear-mind to paper.

Hearing beyond Sky Train’s rumblings

and screechings

and the crowd’s murmurs

and shufflings.

 

Who am I in this morning crowd?

Where and why am I travelling

with pilgrim, outlaw, composer, lover?

 

I know them all.

I have been them all.

I am each one this morning,

on this journey, at day’s beginning.

 

We will go our separate ways, today.

We have each met the other by eye,

by proximity, by touch.

Randomly selected,

to travel the beginning

of our days’ journeys together.

 

I could give them stories.

 

A future Tchaikovsky, Cohen or Bowie.

A deadline looming.

 

Pilgrim, burdened with belongings,

retreating to an ice cave,

high in the mountains.

 

Lover, shedding his lovership,

for a few long hours,

to work skillfully, artfully,

in his downtown studio.

 

Outlaw, recently freed,

temporarily car-less,

going straight for the day,

doing the seasonally-mandated shopping

for his mother and girlfriend, or,

attending a more sinister assignation.

 

We each holds stories:

secret, private,

only partly revealed

by clothes, decoration, attributes,

action, eyes, posture

on Sky Train,

morning.