Evening will be seated on a train mumbling home
to fallen hamlets, opalescent ponds, turned locks.
Tell me we’ll be together 26 years hence, love,
26 years I last drew this dismal air and my train
since runs on the hour: hence-ago, hence-ago,
pint on polished oak awaiting your moistened lips.
Now the city has slapped its own back another
day, speaks in flapping shutters, scratching dogs
in a garden, silent TV through a silent lady’s window.
In your bag you carry an umbrella, a paving stone,
a map through my years. Still I carry the rain.

Roger Atwood’s poems have appeared in Town Creek Poetry, The Gay and Lesbian Review, Potomac Review and Linden Lane Magazine. He is the author of a non-fiction book, Stealing History (St. Martin’s Press, 2004). His essays and articles are widely published, including in National Geographic, The Times Literary Supplement, The Massachusetts Review, Latin American Research Review and Mother Jones. He is a Contributing Editor at Archaeology magazine and teaches writing at the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, where he lives.

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