Poem from 1995: “Sign on Trainbridge: Trenton Makes The World Takes.”

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I suspect the jerk-off
they just threw off the train
doesn’t believe in God, because

if he did, he’d have sat down
like the conductor asked him. Instead,
he did the scofflaw’s walk

down the aisle, a drunk
in a cemetery who pees on the headstone
with the funniest-sounding name.

He slipped into another car,
to chintz on his fare. Nothing,
you see, gets by these railroad

employees, especially freeloaders.
They are acutely aware of this abuse.
God is the same feeling you get, sitting,

waiting on a bench in Trenton,
the empty transfer platform, open-air
cold with glinty metal. No train yet,

but it’s paid for. That’s it.
That’s all. It’s our shared desolation.

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