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Grey Sparrow Journal and Press, as of January 31, 2018 will move to

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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Perpendicular Trains

by Kyle Hemmings


          You're the stranger sitting across from me who says this train will not take you beyond the border guards or to where the sea is one blinking blue eye. To either side of us our parallel lives flash by. You cross your soft girlish legs. We joke & tell stories. You tell me about the stretch marks left from childhood, your first Icelandic love, the Finnish sailor who dumped you without a net, your theories as to how your father was murdered by The Adjustment Bureau. You smirk. He wasn't really, you say.

          You go on to say that there really is no Croatia & no Serbia & the sky does not exist for us. I ask you if you'd ever believe I could be an assassin. No, you say, with that peculiar accent
half Emma Peel/half dreamy gypsy girl, a head of moths & butterflies.

          You have too kind of a face. Your finger would become stuck.

          You smile.

          My stomach is now full of your butterflies.

          I have this feeling that I know you from somewhere before. Another life. Another pair of eyes. The same ghost/soul. You murdered me, killed me sweetly, right after I had fallen in love.

          Night descends. There are a thousand distant scattered lights. I imagine the faint voices of towns calling me back. You belong to us the voices say. I imagine you as a little girl playing hopscotch, owning the city with that whimsical smile & almond eyes with secrets that no one can crack.

           In the morning, the seat across from me is empty. The train screeches to a stop. Border guards are aiming their automatic rifles. Several shots ring out. I rise, call you by the name you told me. I can see nothing. I will never have the chance to say that I wanted to get to know you. I will be a forgetful train.