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AnonymityLast train to who knows where
Glides past in a bumpy, jostling line of cars
Like schoolchildren waiting in the lunch line
Or filing in from recess.
The haunted whistle of the train’s alarm
Pierces the night like a screech owl’s call
As the carriages race past, a continuous black shadow
Against thin moonlight streaking the rippling river water.
Every scene along the track—
Families in living rooms, late-night bar patrons,
The dairy farm stretching for miles along the line—
Are merely blurred moments to the denizens of these rushing carriages
Traveling through the blackness in their private tunnel of train light,
Heading for destinations disconnected from the rails they ride,
Unknown to fellow passengers and carriage workers alike,
Gone before dawn tips the trees.
Teenage TaoismGiving birth is the closest I’d ever felt to dying.
Before that, my near death experiences had consisted only of my silent announcement of pregnancy—silent, being that my social media accounts were all deleted almost simultaneously and I never returned to school in the fall, saying without really saying that I had caught the malicious disease of “teenage pregnancy”. I’m sure the whisper spread in the hallways like the Bubonic Plague. That September, sitting at home on what would have been the first day of my senior year, I imagined friends I’d never talk to again saying “she was only seventeen, and so full of life!” at my absence in the cafeteria tables, as if they were attending my funeral instead of talking about me behind my back.
"Full of life," I had snorted then, folding a never ending stream of what had once been my own baby clothes. "Literally."
I walked around like a zombie for the months of my pregnancy, deciding t
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