“Trusting the Song” by Erín Moure

out of the black dawn
of british factories thru
switch-points of time & into
the black night of mountains
trusting the ritual
of metal gripped cold
in the palm of your hand

rumbling low & certain
across trestles curving dark
into cedar
trusting the blind robot
switches rail beneath you fixed
to rock trusting bolts electric
circuits trusting cylinders
lubed w/ oil
trusting ties & the wheels rusht
momentum luring you east
from vancouver

rolling thru the bend into
the white trusting light
of another train

knowing each wrenched
jolt seconds before—
knowing crusht metal
jerkt from your fist concussion
of steel hurtling your awful
flesh hard on the grade—
the black space before your eyes
trusting death

is this
what your ancestor children groped
coal from the cheeks of england for?
is this what your ancestor madmen
moulded iron into pistons for?
is this why your forebears
left sheep & their fields dressed
w/ cotton?

that one night on the mountain line
you should be discovered
dead beneath a diesel engine your trust
derailed glint of steel & a memory
of two centuries graved
in white light behind your eyes?