Corridors of Light

We sit in corridors of light and take our conspicuous ease:
the evening papers open on our laps, the silk constriction
of our neck-ties slipped, waistcoats unbuttoned.
And if we speak at all we speak in murmurs, voices
barely raised above the chatter from the tracks, the kiss
of steel on steel contained by rubber, spring, hydraulic fluid.
And what impinges of the night beyond the glass
comes in the tremoring of ice, the miniscule vibration
of a beaker on the wipe-clean table-top,
the subtle change in locomotive pitch as we pass a bridge
or clear a cutting. And once or twice, from out of nowhere,
the passage of another train: the pressure-wave we’ve banked
before us torn apart, its fragmentation shuddering the gap
between opposing carriages. The buffet bows
the panes of plexiglass. The howling builds and builds,
relents at last. We risk a glance at one another,
smile, sit back, remark upon the glories of a double-track.