BY LINDA MASTRANGELO
She mourns his other half,
silent over the steel chair
and waits for her morning
draft from an open window
drifts in from Kingston Street,
she walks to work in paper
heels, dragging an orange coat
missing buttons. It was his coat.
Not the one found tattered
rail wire and gum. The howl
of the train imbedded in the
threads, if you listen close.
Or a scream of someone
He has half a name, half a story.
an hour between train whistles,
heading downtown to Queensboro
He is spinning, the water in his heart
leaking dirt and
wine, the ghost of his
right half teasing air. The feminine half,
that could deal with pain and humility.
Or the other, that has
the physical wholeness which breaks things
to hold them. He
draws a cracked shade
and decides to sleep until
In bed, she dreams of them, sewing bodies
steel needles. Thread made of blue veins,
pale like old oysters, not
with blood that thickens in heat. She is
sewing the skin,
her right half to his left with blue
fingers piercing like herons. He
her skin, with no eyes, no hair. He is faster,
desperate, because a train is approaching,
crouching from its speed.
She awakens and only remembers
the pushing hands, no
that hit into the track
of current and wood, waiting
be flattened like a copper penny
she put on the rails as a child in
Tipperary. The face of the queen,
dissolves in smoothness, or
the bottom of her father's ale mug,
lifted up to take his
of birch before bedtime. She wakens before
gasping for water. She hides this secret
like dirty hair and puts it
in a cap.
He is alone again, among dead faces from
a reef of headstones. He no longer
sees her in them. They
no longer bathe
together or go fishing for sharks. He no
wants her, or cares for her smell in his nightshirt.
only wishes he had seen his other half, waving
from the train tracks,
like a lost friend,
not a spinning mass of flesh,
chewing at the
air, coughing up coal dust
of forgotten animals.