Halloween Night on Skytrain

On the platform,
a jocular man sniggers—
his hectic grin and walnut eyes.
I inch away to join a safer group—
Draculas stomping in the cold.

Seated inside, I dissolve into Rilke’s Book of Hours,
alternative inheritance, the wall between us so thin.

Just then, four voluptuous goddesses erupt through the door,
Bared thighs resisting
Germ-laden seats.

The most gorgeous, in sequined stilettos
and a Betty Boop skirt, looms over me,
the eyes of the druggy beside me,
staggering up and down the cheeks of her bum,
soon drop lost into Avernus.

Her sparking ruby slippers, unlike Dorothy’s,
fail to click and lift her homeward.
No she is, as she tells one inquirer,
a hairdresser, party bound on this night of all souls.

I could read them these words:
My god is dark and like a web.
I’ve been circling for thousands of years—
falcon, storm, song?

But what are the words of an invisible middle-ager
along the fertile crescent of this track?

~ Susan McCaslin

Susan McCaslin is a full-time poet and author of twelve volumes of poetry, who taught English at Douglas College in New Westminster, B.C. for twenty-three years. Her most recent volume is Lifting the Stone (Seraphim Editions, 2007). She has edited two anthologies on sacred poetry, A Matter of Spirit and Poetry and Spiritual Practice, and is on the editorial board of Event: the Douglas College Review. Her work recently appeared in the West coast anthology, Rocksalt. Susan lives in Fort Langley, British Columbia where she is currently completing a new poetry cycle called Demeter Goes Skydiving and working on a book on the poetics of mystical experience.

One Response to “Halloween Night on Skytrain”

  1. Great stuff – thanks!

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