Ariel Gordon

Eight months: the gathering 



As lightning flares like high beams through our window 

I wake to a gathering of trains 

your father shuffled over to the far rail 

so like a log in some already polluted body of water 

I can turn and turn again 

only gets louder evacuating deep breaths that shudder the room
I turn to hold him so that you can kick him too

and you do adding toes to the skin of this early morning

the rain the last of the lightning  

the still sounding trains

A car outside honks as the heavy fingers of rain 

hands on gates on windows sills on all the scales of my plinking night time fear descend
but these are no solitary loon calls to to the few lights in the distance
they are tight and sounding every few seconds
there are men staring out into the train yards
men moving between pneumatic rooms
and sounding the horns

Across the city the trains shake themselves like horses 

impatient for their hierarchy
their coupling and uncoupling regimented
long before this barrel race
shudder against flies against cold or boredom
back and forth precise adjustments
unknown to the pinions the gears
but necessary to the men that move them
shudder and shudder until there is a flash of light
and I think storm and I think trains and I think storm

I can't see out except into sleep
into this darkened room his breath
and I am too warm misaligned somehow
but like the night like the first thunderstorm of the season
this too will end the lights flicker but come on
the sand behind my eyelids the grit at the curb
wash away

I sleep and sleep again 

and wake to a car speeding down the alley
leaving a streak in the puddles
in the unseen smear of night
skidding on wet grit and concrete
police sirens trailing after the brightening sky
like all of this has only been the winding
of the day's gears

The storm breaks through the sirens
all the thunder of trains shaking themselves
until the sky the ground are shaking
my spine bearing your travels up and down the body
on schedule but oh it is so late


At the window again I want to know
which effects were the slippery turns of the log
the shift between night and day winter and spring
gestation and germination
which were the fingers of bulbs down in the yard
washed free of snow mould crystal
and soapy expectation and which were you
trying at me again