Illustration: train with rainbow interior in snowy landscape

Berlin’s “Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism” was last Vandalized in August 2019

Beneath the seat the world is reduced to shoes
and I guess at people by their feet, growing whole lives
from soiled leather, a scuffed sandal, a lost aglet – I am not yet five
and the oildirt smell from beneath the floor is bigger
than being lost – I do not know where
we are going or who is driving this train
or where it will stop, but chopped-up light
is breathing colors across my palm: bright dark bright dark – we are streaking through trees,
the clever windows (you showed me how thick, how safe, the emergency exit)
tugging strands of the unknown forest’s sun
into a rainbow rope I cannot hold.
I will learn, later
I will see shoes in piles and lives will sprout from them
I will identify
with rainbows and kids whose names
were not sewn into their coats for them to be found
I will learn about prisms and how
the clear light of day
hides every stripe inside it – trapped triangular, they split hard
and may be picked out one by one by one, and I am not five
and everywhere trains are now leaving
every second and where are we going and who is driving
and this time where will it stop

Ankh Spice is a sea-obsessed poet from Aotearoa (New Zealand). His poetry has appeared in a wide range of online and print publications internationally (, and has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He is a co-editor at IceFloe Press and a Poetry Contributing Editor at Barren Magazine, and believes that words have the power to change the place we’re in. You’ll find him doing his best to prove that on Twitter @SeaGoatScreamsPoetry, or on Facebook @AnkhSpiceSeaGoatScreamsPoetry.

Train illustration by C.B. Auder.

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