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Rapid Transit

One train overtakes another going the same way,

so two sets of passengers come eye-to-eye

and out one side of each train

a world flashes by, and opposite,

a world of strangers, passing slow.

As one end of a kayaker’s paddle cuts into a lake

the other end flings water at the sky.

A hand that can squeeze into a fist, turn a key,

or stroke her cheek is the perfect, backward twin

of the other, clumsy one.

Somewhere it’s early evening, but here, early morning:

into a smack of yawning air, the overtaking train

snaps free. Sunflash, stereo store,

a boy bends down, seeing a nickel—

from Charms Against LightningFind it in the library

Copyright © 2012 James Arthur
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press.

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