It was on the faster train
on Tuesday, in the middle of the morning,
when I should have been working,
that two men began to talk to each other,
really talk to each other,
both turned three-quarters outwards
to me, propped across the aisle,
behind a magazine.
One began to speak,
and then the other spoke in turn,
and it came out
that the older one
had been on the news, earlier that day.
I looked at him carefully,
and I remembered I had seen him, now, today,
that, in fact, he was part of the reason
I was on the train now, rather than earlier,
part of the reason
I was so very late.
The man who was not on the news began
to espouse his view on the vote
and the scattering and the burst,
and the man who had been on the news
listened, smiling and nodding,
every now and then expressing an insight.
The man not-of-the-news would rub the back of one hand
with the palm of the other, nervously.
My eye was drawn to the motion,
48 〈 jubilat
and I began to stare.
One rub, and then another,
as if one hand
were trying to make the other disappear,
as if the man who did not know the news
might want to vanish
at any moment.
And I continued to watch.
And I could see that the news man
was watching as well,
taken by this,
resting his mind.
And then he began to rub his hands as well,
either in sympathy or of an independent spirit
diving for itself
in the middle of the morning,
where I, mouth opened just a little,
had arrived at my stop.
The train pulled, and then paused.
in the space
of the car.