the midnight 57

for all the life left in his bones he strains to light the cigarette the midnight train is running late he rubs his hands together the mouths to feed are growing into free thinking minds washing dishes at the Shrimp Palace doesn’t buy too many books to stave the pain of the morning news about his lung he smiles at the queens wiggling out of Club La India toward El Tauro taco truck for carnitas and debauchery the midnight train arrives and we both climb in he lets me pass and offers the old legless man his chair the man returns the smile as Valerio’s own smile strains against the hopelessness