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Page 42
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<< 41. Kingdom of Cambodia43. Holding My Breath... >>

in transit (poem)

By John Samuel Tieman

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on the train between Prague and Vienna
I wanted to compose a poem
something in a holy moment

less than the Elevation at the Mass of course
but still filled with incense and breasts
and no less than the wetness between a woman's legs

instead I remember Basic Training
1969 and how I'd aim my M-14
at a target that looked like a man

only in outline so I'd imagine
a Communist except I'd never met a Communist
much less a Czech

but I'd learn how to kill a Red and would
today I imagine the guy
seated catty-corner from me is the grandson

of my enemy and the countryside
rushing by is trying and the train is trying
and trying

to compel the two of us in some direction
any direction that's true and dark and
improbable as a tunnel through a foreign mountain

—John Samuel Tieman

<< 41. Kingdom of Cambodia43. Holding My Breath... >>