The silver leash

How long are they?
How long are the tracks?
The railroad diesel train on a silver leash
Hauling the gargantuan freight
On iron wheels—
My head, my brain pounding from the sound
Of the horn, punching holes in the air like artillery shots.
It is the tracks I have to cross, and the water,
Dragging the wind across its body
Quietly beneath the boxcars and the graffiti.
How much time does it eat?
My watch is fixed to my wrist like a wheel,
A silver leash affixed to my life,
Affixed to a final destination,
Like a pine box to a cemetery—
I know its name.
Will it be hellfire, or church bread?
Beneath the water there is much mud,
Stops me like a train-stop.

How much longer will it be?
There is so much mud on my shoes,
Thick, dark and dripping.
I cannot undo myself— another train approaches,
Creeping and breathing like the devil.
Minutes dripping from my watch like oil drops
Slowly through the air;
The diesel engine is dragging itself, screeching brakes
On steel, insane for a crash.
Its carriages rock onto land stripping itself
From the silver leash, from the boredom;
Screaming freight through the air
Unaware of my presence.
Unaware of my old bandages, an old tired face.
I shall count the minutes till my burial,
With my arms, legs piled outside;
The face of the end approaches—
Clacking. Clacking. Clacking.
No religious figures came to mourn, no weeping.

The silver leash

Copyright © 08/15/18 lance sheridan®

10 comments on “The silver leash

  1. Lona Gynt says:

    Reminds me a little of Quentin breaking the hands of his grandfather’s watch in “Sound and the Fury” so he could forget time. You put us on that train so masterfully. Stunningly beautiful and terrifying. Thank you.

  2. MOMENTS says:

    Wonderfully written. All the images are very powerful. You are great at describing tension, angst and terror. This poem has a highly philosophical content about time and human existence, therefore, existentialist. The images of “the silver leash” and the passing of trains are perfect to convey these thoughts. Time is a friend to no one and every day is a gift.

  3. Thanks so sincerely, Marta.

  4. sherazade says:

    Ogni singola immagine è descritta e vive più del ‘reale’: perfetta.

    Sherabientot grazie

  5. ssfrerking says:

    Time is as indifferent as the ocean. You have captured this perfectly.

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