Ten Poems by Leonardo Dellarocca

The train makes town after town a caterpillar
of dead ends.
Windows look out to back yards of men and women
with faces out of "Fun with Dick and Jane."
Here's Sally with her dog and wagon,
Here's Sally with her dog and wagon,
they say as I go.
Who will listen when I say
a green mule is eating the edge
of tomorrow?
All their ears are made of paper.
What else can I do but decorate my room
in one Pullman after another, putting up posters
of Warhol and Tina Louise?
The conductor smiles waving as he goes
punching holes in tickets
that aren't there.
Trees fly by like the background of cartoons
the same reel of shapes
forever moving past while Yogi and Boo-Boo
steal another picnic basket
filled with Mr. Potato Heads.
I scribble things, things to remind me
where and when
but it doesn't make a difference.
I always wake up in the middle,
everybody still rolling toward the distance,
which never gets here even
when the train is throttled,
even when I close my eyes.
But somebody will come to help me,
someone with a bright left hand.
He'll pull the lever in the engine,
make the wheels smoke to a stop,
the whistle to call the world back
from the brink of laughter.
And I'll walk into town with a suitcase
heavy with crisp new clothes,
with a map folded neatly under my arm.