I remember leaving the pencil behind it slipped through my fingers all slippery and slippy and salty and wet like my back like my thighs all dripping and wet and the train wouldn’t come for me it wouldn’t come for me I waited and waited and it wouldn’t come for me my fingers let go the pencil dropped like a pin to the floor and I let it roll to the edge across the cool dust-dry tiles into the litter box of the tracks where piss and shit mixed with plastics and paper in the heat against the metal spines of the tracks that would not bring my train that would not come get me that would leave me to count time on my toes in the heat of a July summer by the station in the wastelands where all the rust mountains were building up and the left over bits and pieces of the world came to lose themselves together. I remember leaving then out into the blind heat and over the cracking asphalt down along the gutter for comfort my soles tacky against the tar and the sandal straps cutting into the old stinging cuts of yesterday and the day before and the day before that. I remember leaving my bags. I remember leaving my mind. I remember letting it all go and following the gutter into the world I did not know down past the place where the wire fences broke where the power lines had been clipped where the dead trains sat heavy on their bones pointing to the end of the future. I remember leaving the smell of rot behind me and breathing stiff into the summer air believing then a new time was opening up between my fingers. I remember leaving. I remember leaving. I licked them clean like a thirsty bird pecking her way into the car park there’d been no one for days and days. I remember leaving my people at the station they were sleeping with my bags. I remember thinking they’ll find my pencil. I remember thinking they’ll tell me.
[The results of a 10 minute automatic writing exercise prompted by the phrase ‘I remember leaving…’. Written during The Stinging Fly Poetry Summer School led by Martina Evans, who is nothing short of brilliant. July 3rd 2018.]