The tracks flanked the river
between twin rails.
The red light blinked westward
a permanent, arrested fixture,
begging stop forever.
Crews cruise westward then eastward
like any way was a good direction.
The sun shone fall in its amber palette.
Music stuttered across the river,
an empty staccato.
People jogged and raced by on bikes,
breathing in their ghoulish bodies.
Everything had the insolence of joy
parading around stillness.
The earth, sun, the stippled water, rowing . . .
How could you possibly have been here
and yet, now are not?
Years ago, I teetered off the Amtrak
at the Ann Arbor depot—up the way
into my grandparent’s smiles.
Train late—they stood waiting on the walk.
Had finished school and a Brooklyn
adventure. Grandpa laughed
as my overstuffed duffle tipped me over—
grabbed it as I tumbled off the step
onto the platform.
Please come back, Max.
Death doesn’t make sense,
I think as I veer
from the weed-strewn rails,
stumble up oxidized stairs
to the suicide survivors meeting
in the converted block station.
Narborough is a long ride away;
the ocean’s vast. No ghost marriage
for us today. You are everywhere
Koss is a queer writer and artist from a working-class background who somehow managed to get an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. They have work in Diode Poetry, Cincinnati Review, Hobart, Spillway, Anti-Heroin Chic, Five Points, Spoon River Review (forthcoming) and others. Their hybrid book is due out in early 2021 (from Negative Capability Press) and they work in the Best Small Fictions 2020 anthology. Keep up with Koss on Twitter @Koss51209969, Instagram @koss_singular, and her website: https://koss-works.com.