The Place of Transit

In the place of transit,
In the space of neither,
Where the tubes of neon
Glowed by the staircase,
You led me earthward
To the waiting metro.

A ticket machine
Dispensed a handful
Of brassy coins,
And I thought myself
In the elves’ country,
So strange were their sight
And their weight in my pockets,
In the wool of my coat.
In their jangle I heard
The words of Herodotus:
“In the name of the Goddess
Mylitta,” they said.

It rained that night:
The streetlights’ glow
Was mirrored in the roads,
Diffused in the puddles.
Walking, you wrapped
Your arm around mine;
The puff of your sleeve
Was a cushion for my side.

Tonight it rains:
It falls on my window.
Hills and rivers,
Roads and highways
Divide us now–
I am far from the lights
On that rain-glazed road,
And the metro’s neon.

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