(For Dave)

The purpose of trains
is to ghostly whistle through the night,
spiriting wistful listeners from warm beds
to peer into the dark and consider
running far away. Immediately.

The purpose of trains
is pulling into the station, slowly,
headlights blinding, bells clanging,
brakes screeching.
Whether the train is late (as usual) doesn’t matter.

The purpose of trains is to provide a seething,
hissing backdrop for lovers kissing on the platform.
They press together tightly,
feeling each other’s heat through their jackets.
They do not feel the light rain starting.

The purpose of trains is to exhale steam, loudly,
while the lovers kiss, kiss, kiss,
mouths warm and wet
in the few seconds of sweetness remaining.
They don’t notice the crowd on the platform
noticing them.

The lovers pull apart. He lopes four steps,
climbs aboard at the very last second
doors closing, whistle blasting.

Waving at each other, blowing kisses
they quickly grow smaller and sadder
as the train sways away. Next weekend
seems impossibly distant.