Dusk in a Crowded Train Compartment, Regretting My Life
I stayed up two days straight with some old friends
In New York, and was charred, gut sick, still wired
Stuck on the Northeast Corridor Express,
Suffering quietly as night descended.
I was pressed to the window, far too tired
To read, cramped by a pimpled giantess
Who nodded to a thump in her headphones.
The wrecked landscape of north
Telephone poles tilted to cold shimmer
Of swamp, rusted scaffolds, graffitied stones,
Great piers rotted down into slow, tall grass.
I focused on breathing, like a swimmer.
Late rays shocked an oil tank’s silver to white,
A dying flash, pulled fast out of my sight.
-- Ernest Hilbert
Originally in American Poetry Review
Editor's Note: Each day this week we will be posting a sonnet by Ernest Hilbert.