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—Lachlan Chu


On the other platform, a couple is fighting 

over missing tickets. A train is coming.

A man is standing too close to the edge, 

both feet on the yellow line, and nobody

will notice or say return. And everybody 

anticipates the train by watching gravel

beneath its tracks, as if there might be, 

this time, a rose, blushing from the rock.

It’s strange how this small station could 

wait forever before that happens. Funny

how the smoking woman holds the joint 

sideways, steam calligraphed like exhaust.

Soon, metal is clashing loud enough to 

signal arrival, therefore departure. The

people move expectantly, still waiting

until they can't anymore. Someone gets up.

Someone sighs. Someone blinks.

The train does not slow. It passes through

us, the station, the wind sighing. Tell me 

now, when the figures return to their origin,

why we remember each journey by the 

length of its wait. There must be a place

to keep this. Something must come of how 

the man steps back onto the yellow line,

closer to falling than before. How the 

people’s eyes return to the tracks when

they have nowhere left to go. Tell me 

our bodies remember this like they

remember wings. Like how our wings 

remember the sky in blinks—

sun, feather, wax. It’s strange how we 

have a name for the train that doesn’t

stop for us. Call it a bullet that doesn’t 

kill. Funny how today, I survived

a bullet. Saying that living is a miracle. 

That the train which clips the rose, petal

by petal, runs a world clean through 

the chest and leaves a man alive.

On the other platform, a couple finds 

their lost tickets beneath a red bench and

turns to the open wound of morning.


LACHLAN CHU is a high school student from California and the author of Colossus in the Middle of Nowhere (Bottlecap Press, 2024). His poems have recently appeared in Poetry, diode, and the Harvard Advocate. He serves as editor-in-chief for Acedia Journal.

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