Poem by Teresa Gilman

Mars Insomnia

After staring long at the hot red dot come in close
for just this little bit of time, I go in and walk the rooms
of my house with night coming on hard. Thunder
in the distance rolls me in its voice, like you
on the train from Croton that first summer
reading aloud from the galleys of Aliena,
two weeks gone in love, and no end
of revised plans, the next train always there,
the last one unmarked, its passage unregretted.
We met up half a dozen times that year,
and yet our day never seemed to come.
Even now I fritter away memories,
knowing all too well they signal nothing
solid left behind. Only that the world
is ending as we slide and crumble away
from each other, letter by unanswered letter,
missed connection, unsent invitation.
And those long ago afternoons, remote
in their coppery light and carnal leisure,
those times with just you
and me waiting for the last little bit
of far off train noise to roll out
of our life forever.