by Libby Copa

  1. A foreigner is lost between
  2. going in the side car and standing on the platform.
  1. A little girl walks next to a tall man toward the train.
  2. Her arms are flapping at her sides and
  3. her hood is pulled up tightly around her.
  4. The tall man takes long paces, his hands in his pockets.
  1. The morning is passing and a white cloud hovers low around us like fog.
  1. Railroads in different parts of the world still use different gauges.
  2. The gauge is the distance between
  3. the inner edges of the rails.
  4. The rails form parallel lines of track, made from metal.
  1. Very few get off at this stop.
  2. It’s as if everyone is leaving here.
  1. Frequent travelers become accustomed to being swallowed by vast expanses of land.
  1. We conducted our goodbye the way Napoleon performed his with France
  2. when exiled for the last time to Saint Helena.
  1. Developing a plan to swim across the sea.
  2. Ambition larger than the risk one is willing to take.
  1. The greatest damage suffered by rail beds is caused by water.
  2. It fills the shoulders.
  1. You will pass through tunnels and think of me
  2. and the only tunnel that I will pass through
  3. is under a thousand pounds of salt water.
  1. The flags will rise and disappear completely into the train
  2. headed to Belgrade with you.
Packingtown Review – Vol.13, Spring 2020

Libby Copa's writing has appeared in literary journals across the country, including Hanging Loose, DASH, and Matter. She teaches youth creative writing classes in the Twin Cities community and at the Women’s Empowerment Breakthrough conference in Arizona. She currently lives in Minnesota.

  1. Jane Hawley