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Night Train

Lucy Atkinson

Lucy Atkinson is a poet and playwright based in the North East of England. She is currently completing a PhD at Durham University. Her poetry has been widely published both online and in print in magazines such as Acumen, Agenda, Ink Sweat and Tears, among many others. Her debut play As It Was was published in 2019. She can be found on Twitter at @_Lucyatkinson_

Mosquito bitten tourists, we ride
the slow crawl from the mainland.
A throng of bodies and voices,
recycled on the air
in unfamiliar languages.
Where the proud threadbare mother,
baby crying, cannot sleep.
A litany of decaying muscles.
Time merges dream
into waking dream.

In the tilted kind of purgatory
where our eight-hour penance
feels like life,
faces blur in the light of passing streetlamps
and burning stars on the wind outside.
We’ll blink at the sun
with a dead man’s eyes
at the end of the line,
astonished at the dawn.
Like moths who love light
but never see the sun.
Too delicate: our wings.
We only come out at night.

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