some minor city in Illinois
past midnight, the neon signs
running on the wet pavement
the tavern hard by the tracks
we stop here to let one off
or two get on —
minutes of stillness
in the long rough night
I watch him stumble from the bar
try to light a cigarette, give up.
He is looking right at me, through me
I doubt he even sees the train.
we slowly move away
the town drifting out of sight.
I wonder, were we really there?