The Last Train to Leave Tokyo

The last train to leave Tokyo
– bound for the West
and a promise –
clacks its typewriter clacks
along the rails hugging
our home; an ugly day
which leaves our gutters
swollen and cold.

From the bedroom
I watch faces trundle
in and out of focus
– hopeful/glum/glum/hopeful –
fathers clutching mothers
clutching babies
who would be wailing
who cry my tears for me.

Watching them
my fingers slip
out of sync
with the pedal-powered sewing machine,
a quiet flurry of blood
stains the blanket
I’m working on.

I hear my wife curse
from another room
and I call
I’ll wash it once I’m done
but she’s not seen the droplets.

Her words are meant
for higher powers than I.
She could not have heard
me, no matter how much
I cried.

As the last train to leave Tokyo
cuts a path through the clouds,
trailing rain and sleet,
I begin to fix my final patchwork
square to the quilt –

my hands and the hole in my index
clot against the purple,
my heart six square inches
lighter, my wife resigned
– nicotine on the doorstep –
and our daughter
forever a blurred face
sat in seat 17A on coach F
of the last train to leave Tokyo

bound for the West
and a promise

5 thoughts on “The Last Train to Leave Tokyo

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  1. I can’t begin to imagine how you start thinking of subject matter and go on to write about it.I understand this one,clever and brilliant use of words.Probably because it is more factual that I think I follow. Before the Cataclysm.drug taking? and the effects,scary and so out of control. Black Star Found this one had immense descriptions and sensed the whole journey .Trying hard to understand but struggling.Is it a “dream”? or anxiety. Love Granny.Don’t take my ramblings to heart.I really want to understand.xxxxx


    1. Hi Gran! I’m not exactly sure how the subject matter comes to me – sometimes from personal experience, other times inspired by something i’ve read/seen, and others just purely imaginative! Really glad you liked these pieces 🙂 Both ‘Before the Cataclysm’ and ‘Last Train to Leave Tokyo’ is part of a series I’m writing on an imaginary breakdown of society as it happens in Tokyo, and the people’s reflections on life before the breakdown. ‘Black Star’ is indeed about anxiety! So you got that one spot on. Based on an experience I had commuting from Edinburgh back home on the X95 – and is intended to be surreal – to reflect auditory hallucinations and the fear that anxiety can evoke!

      Thanks for the support and interest Gran, means a lot! Love, Cal xxx


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