The Train

Train brakes
echo
in a river-run circle
around my world.

Do you hear the train?
Does it wake you as it sweeps
­.. its coal-filled path
…. around the Mon?

…… 49 cars
……….to each
………… engine

Had you noticed?

The ever-present Conrail symbol
.. smiles at me

…. 50 times,
…… 100 times,
………. or more.

Then, at night,
when the train rumbles
through a thick valley fog,
.. do you watch for the train
…. that you can only hear?

Nichole M. Dulin
1995

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Gumball

gumball

He thought the gumball machine was romantic.
Bright colors
spiraling down
to a silver-plate special delivery
behind door number one.

The quarter jammed.
I recommended the store.

But the quarter wasn’t as important
as this,
Another
Failed
Romance.

So I suggested that I could be sweet,
smooth curved, soft, and acquiescent,
and
most significantly,
Temporary.

Nichole M. Dulin

1998

 

Alma Mater

I brush my hand across the cinder blocks,
Across the table tops, filing cabinets, and locks.
Searching for a piece of my old reality.
As if the walls still hold a piece of me.
As if they remember me and love me a little.
As though time did not make pages brittle.
I breath the air searching for smoke, wax, developer, newsprint,
The stale memory of each countless midnight hour stint,
A hint that I left anything lasting here in this space.
I didn’t.

There’s nothing familiar here to reminisce about.
I’ve been painted over, knocked down, and moved out.
Walking out I stop in at the bookstore.
I’m still searching but I don’t know what for.
I buy some mementos. Ornament. Decal. Clothes.
The lasting impression was on me. As it should be, I suppose.

Nichole M. Dulin

pica