The Night Train

Here is a place of dense, foggy silences – where women cross their legs at the ankles and silently pray that the man sitting across from them with a smile so sour it could melt metal is not thinking what she knows he’s thinking – where the queer couples spring momentarily apart at the hydraulic hiss of the doors opening, then return, pendulum-like, to one another’s lips, thighs, hips, hands; souls – we sit without speaking; these are the truths we hold to be self-evident – they need not be spoken, lest we invoke their power, they need not be taught in their entirety, lest our children grow up empowered; and though they are written in these, the documents we hold most sacred as a nation, they need not be permanent – let us wash away the words of our forbearers like so much silt from the river – let us swear upon the Styx that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are about as ephemeral as we – let us vow to our neighbor that we love them as we love ourselves as we lay the foundations of a most glorious wall – the Great Wall is already taken; let us find a name more lasting – good fences make good neighbors, and if you must think differently, please take your place in the queue like a good citizen and hold your peace until further notice – there will never be a good time to say these things, so I’ll speak my truth now – here, amongst the silence and the stillness and the fugue of half-forgotten voices, echoing and returning in the space between us.

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