“When This Train Comes” by Shokry Eldaly

Image by John Boyner

When this train comes crashing
It’s okay cause I’ve got Je-sus

The lights flicker
And go dead

There’s a woman reading the Psalms
We’re under 100 million
Tons of water, Under
100 hundred million gallons of the Hudson

The lights have gone off
But she’s still gripping her bible
In both hands like it’ll be her phoenix
Like it’ll point its nose upward
And return her to daylight

She’s reciting from memory
The words, speaking it like a lullaby

I swallow hard and attempt to listen
Through one man’s coughing,
The heavy breathing
And someone’s blaring headphones

I hear cracking granite


Shokry Eldaly is a Hunter College graduate and a Goddard College MFA candidate. He is an Aquellos Fellow and recipient of the AALC’s Naguib Mahfouz award. He teaches and conducts workshops in Brooklyn, NY and Providence, RI.

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