To travel by train through the desert of night

To travel by train through the desert of night,
to leave the houses and streets,
to step on the platform,
to climb on the steps of the train
one foot on the way already.
To lift the baggage
through the door of the carriage,
to walk along the aisle,
to peep into sleeping compartments,
to open the door of one’s own compartment,
to lower the bags on the floor,
to sit down —
happy to have made it,
to have just begun,
to have escaped the rain.
And the train jerks into movement,
moves slowly forward,
accelerates, finds the balance
of speed,
glides on its own weight
beyond the last lights of city,
and nothing holds
one in place any longer;
one is free
and loose,
breathes the scent of fields,
the grass burning in the dark, far away.
A late bicyclist has stopped
at the level crossing, beneath a lonely light,
into a photograph;
unhurriedly the gazes meet
in the window and beyond the window,
the wind ruffles up the hair for a moment,
the eyes in the train window,
a hardly recordable flash:
the train is gone.

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