Train 353

On January 6, 1988 the last train to leave
Michigan Central Station in Detroit
slid toward Chicago with no thought of return.
Passengers sat silently in two-by-two rows
and warmed enough to fold pea coats
into laps five miles outside the suburbs.
They could hear despair of buildings crumbling behind them
in the uncomfortable crinkle of a newspaper’s turning pages.
Above them, a smokestack’s stagnating breath
dusted the city left behind like light snowfall.


Riley Nisbet is a senior at Central Michigan University. His work has previously been published by Central Review and WordsDance. He has no clue.


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