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Stack of Magazines

Another Minute

By David Earl


Rocked to sleep on the rails

after a late night with saké,

I missed my stop.

The clock read 13:40. I stepped off the train,

watching its trailing lights as it trundled away

on rapids of gravel and steel

through an ocean of rooftops.

Standing in a station I’d never heard of,

waiting for the inbound at 13:41,

another minute for myself.


An idle chime played from the PA speakers

like a cuckoo’s call, curious and lonely,

backed with a choir of crying cicadas

under the glow of an afternoon sun.

I was at the platform’s end,

walls painted white, aging to beige,

lined with old benches,

red plastic faded to peach.

I sat down, the seat embraced me,

comforting, warm, empty.


I filled my lungs with summer air,

that sweet perfume, like pine boughs,

hydrangea bushes, the river bank,

taiyaki from a corner booth,

pages ripped from that book I loved.

A breeze glided in, ruffled my hair, caressed my skin,

a gentle hand, familiar and soft.


A man with a dark coat, a grandma with a cane,

two schoolchildren, holding hands,

all stood on the other platform.

But no one stood at this side, on the far end

where I stared out, like an old Jizo,

from an island of concrete and steel.


Another minute with the crying cicadas

Another minute in the bitter breeze.

Another minute thinking of you

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