railroad warning

Fiona Reenan

when i saw you standing there

on an empty train platform

waiting with a ticket

(to anywhere but here)

i held out my arm.

you turned to face me

and your eyes flashed

with light

grief

a depth i had never seen before

in any human being

animal

or god.

i was holding your sweatshirt

the only thing i had left to give you

(you had taken the rest)

and i have to say

before

when i imagined you leaving

(it happened more than it should’ve)

it wasn't like this.

it was supposed to be spectacular

(like fireworks)

take your breath away

(like fireworks)

and gloriously painful because i had let you too close to me

(like fireworks)

after all we were nothing more

then a damn good show.

that's what you told me

the night you screamed at me

because i had said

i loved you

you told me i didn't know those words well enough

to roll them around in my soft lips mouth

with the hot black coffee i like

(i love)

but no one else drinks.

so i swallowed them down

because you always know best.

i remember they tasted like candy

something sweet

and addictive

and bad for you.

and this why when we were standing

in those flashing railroad lights

and i had so many

(sugar coated and delicious)

things to say to you

all that came out was

“take it. you might get cold.”