Amtrak

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I went down to see my cousin. I took the train. The land shone by.

Toy-colored toaster trays of halved cars piled in a car yard. Pink aisles of flowers: through one corridor, five cop cars, a cuffed man. Beautiful construction plains, blue concrete trucks, squares of water beside the river.

Beer flags, fair sliced mountains, leaves in the curves of the lunch umbrellas, bougainvillea trotting boxily by over the sidewalk.

Blown to beachside, high yellow houses, people in sunchairs with wrists to knees. Friendly speckled hills grew numerous then relaxed into abstraction.

Hospital buildings, cetacean, slick asymmetrical rises, promised solutions beyond your understanding and your tolerance. They will slide silver discs, warm to the touch and so smooth they seem wet, between the teeth of your spine and you will lift your chin and be taller. You will be like the building. You will be other than your surroundings, extended from the others.

From the boatyard, where the boats were leant in little tents, where secondary tents of blue tarps were drawn from the mouth of the boat to the ground, to the wide land and lumpy hills, great peaked houses and girls in bicycle helmets riding between boulders.

The river pinned back to its concrete table, pink graffiti. My train put me over a highway – the cars passing beneath gave me an instant’s erotic thrill, like a finger running between me. Clay of underpasses, wires of old vines, swallows’ nests, the cruel daub sides of aughts gentrified projects red and white, shrubs’ shadows mercilessly laid out –

The couch at my cousin’s. Once Jerry punctured his lung: “And he’s weepin’ and saying Oh Col, Col, I’m so sorry, don’t be paralyzed man, don’t be paralyzed. And the tears are running down his face – going Oh Col, I’m so sorry, man, I’m so sorry!”

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