by Fausto Barrionuevo
I hear my childhood blanket;
she’s crooning from inside my briefcase.
At the train station, Moonlight Serenade
plays over the loudspeaker; the clerk
has fallen asleep. My blanket
demands a dance before the train arrives.
With her fabric pressed against my chest,
I carry her out to the platform,
unfold her cotton body, and tie
her two corners to each wrist.
We dance.
She takes the lead when the gears
embrace the rails; I read the signs
at every entrance to the train, All
must have a face to board.
By the engine’s headlight the coal fire
turns to ash and the smoke vibrant
when the conductor howls, “All aboard!”
I pull her thread closer to my lips
and hide my face in the warmth of her body.

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