by Joshua Michael Stewart

The late-January sun is an old man 

with a heavy head. 2:30 in the afternoon, 

and he's laying himself down behind

the pines. Snow outlining the branches

makes me think of music (everything 

makes me think of music), the silence 

between the notes giving melody its shape.

There's a woman who plays steel drums

in front of the pizza joint for jingle money.

She wears a fur coat and one of those huge hats

southern women put on for Sundays. Her tunes

resemble church bells, wind chimes,

and metallic birds. Every time I hear a train

whistle and the click-clack of steel wheels

on a track, I think of you. It always sounds

far off, even now, as I stand on the platform

of the abandoned depot with Amtrak-silver blurring

past, you're still in the distance, a light

on the horizon that never arrives, never fades.