by Shannon Hunter
I don’t write letters anymore.
With the speed of two Japanese bullet trains, every memory I have of him has collided with every word I know, creating a completely indecipherable mess. Except, the Shinkansen hasn’t had a single accident in its entire history.
I cannot say the same for my heart.
Shannon Hunter likes oak trees, and libraries, and misses the sea. Her poetry, prose, and self-portraits have been featured in past issues of TrainWrite.
I told S that I post her so often, I may soon have to make her co-conductor. She’s good. I can’t help it. Read this submission, and pull up the covers. -KES
By Shannon Hunter
I woke up with a swollen face, as if I’d been crying. But I hadn’t. It’s the making of my first cold of the season. I set the same song to repeat and pulled the blankets over my head, imagining I was back in my room by the sea. It worked for a few minutes, as I convinced myself that the water was just down the street, and after I pulled myself out from under the blankets I’d take Soquel Drive into Aptos, get a jasmine green tea and sit at the base of the moss-covered rocks that only surfers seemed to know how to walk across without slipping. It always surprised me that after a storm the shore would be absolutely covered in tree debris. Huge logs materialized out of nowhere as if someone had dumped them on the sand while we slept.
But suddenly I heard the train making its diagonal across Clinton and I remembered where I was. I wondered if I could count the cars by sound alone, catching the clap and clink of the wheel axles turning over above the tracks. The blast of the horn made this impossible. I pressed my fingers into my eyes, tried to imagine you here next to me, and fell back to sleep.
A slow but long freight train passes through Capitola just above the village, along Park Avenue maybe twice a week. Whenever I stopped to wait for this train—usually on foot—I never longed to be on it. I didn’t want to be anywhere else than where I was. When I make my way up and down Palm and approach the RR crossing at Dakota, I make wishes that will either come true or not based on which train makes the arms come down and the lights flash. The Amtrak with its five cars max means my wish will be realized, a freighter with a line of 90+ steel boxes in tow tells me better luck next time. I’ve counted a lot of cars lately.
Submit to TrainWrite.
She wrote 11. Two mentioned trains, so I stole them. -KES
By Shannon Hunter
The train was on time
but you were not there to see
that I still love you
I fell asleep once
on the Northbound train all night
I couldn’t wake up
I would have rather it’d been you to wake me up - instead of the train.
Submitted by Shannon Hunter