Black, Night Black Train (mourning dream)

Written a shortly after my mother’s death in 2016.

We were making our way through the city, underground, in Metro stations and down escalators. Then we came to the train tracks — or were they subway tracks? It was irregular; we had to step off the platform and walk over parallel rails to the Metro car, a black Metro car, a black train heading for a pitch black tunnel. And you were in front of me, wearing a bright red coat. You were about to get on the train, the black train, when I gently placed my hand on your back.

I caught myself moving out of dream-state soon enough to stall, to linger on those tracks, my hand on your back, everything motionless. I don’t think you knew my hand was there, but that didn’t matter. I felt tenderness towards you, a giving, along with the knowledge of something content between us, a knowing that you felt towards me the same way I felt towards you, a mutual thing; love, as it were. It was purer than in life, pure as longing.

Now in the half-waking hours, nearly a year gone by, I try to catch a glimpse of the red, the bright red, against the black, the night black train.