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Jennifer K. Sweeney

(1973 / Tolland / United States)

Erie Central Station


It was theatrical once,
the arrivals and departures,
cathedral ceilings, opera windows
and burgundy velvet couches.
At 3 A.M. a bent-back man
crawls out from the dark with a skeleton key
to unlock Erie Central Station
and the people, a handful each night,
emerge from snow drifts,
their facades stiff with wakefulness,
but otherwise languid as flashbacks.
Against the peeling walls the businessmen
lean like a pack of trench coat angels,
and under the unlit chandelier,
two college girls who've nowhere to go.
I'd like to think every night contains a fissure
where a couple of strangers are cast
in the grand light of an approaching train,
not the station where the train stops
but the station where the station stops,
and they choose something for which
they are completely unprepared.

Submitted: Monday, August 25, 2014

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