The Train Is Empty

My parents only did not like you

Because of your mud-coloured feet

Your unbuttoned shirt,

And your ruthless eyes.

They’d never let me decide to get on this train,

If they knew.

Your unshapely nose reminds me

Of childhood games and rocky lands

They are the dust that trembled beneath my feet

With ants and beetles crawling in the grass

And my little sister trailing behind me like a lovable parasite.


I can see all of your poverty in one glance

I can see deceit,

And I can see love.

You are the sun to all the extinguished in my life

I hang on to every breath that you take

And become your exhale as you live a piece of your life

Putting me through that agony.

Every surface your fingertips touch,

I will banish,

I will destroy it with fervor unimaginable to you.

But you are here now,

Your shadow creeps up into me

Settles in the darkest corners of the folds of my skin,

And I let it caress me so exhaustively and yet so gently

That your exhale, me, weds your breathing

To flights of unattainable peace.


If I had listened to my aunt

When she told me that a man is only

Half as tall as the father whose burden he carries,

I would never have packed my bags.

This noise-coloured home gave its daughters a chest and an orifice

But forgot to give them the strength to carry forward

Their mistakes.

You… You… Are the only sound,

The only sound as sweet as the the wheels of this train,

A train that has lost its way,

Carrying under its wheels

Flesh and blood of my family.

Of yours.

Of our love.

And of our defeat.


You extend from the seat opposite to me

To a universe belonging to cells of my earthly body

The scent of the oil rubbed on your hands

Twirling with my fingerless limbs

I clutch your presence and bury it with long dreams,

Of endless kisses over closed eyes…

And I breathe in your fragrance from my tightened fists.


I look at walls staring back at me.

You unpacked our love as soon as you got home.

The seat opposite me is empty.

And the train stutters on.




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