Paul Smith


I spent half a cold December night at Detour
somewhere in Midtown
then boarded the L.I.R.R. back to Lynbrook
I was supposed to transfer
at Jamaica Station
but fell asleep instead
the next thing I heard was
where I got off in the dark
stood on the platform shivering
with a lively crowd who
eventually figured out where they were going
and left
I stood there alone
how far a walk it was to Lynbrook
in Spanish I meditated on
la inmortalidad del congrejo
back in English I mulled over why
a wet bird never flies at midnight
two hours later
an Inbound train
took me to Jamaica
two hours after that
another took me
to Valley Stream
I walked to Lynbrook
speculating in the thin dawn air
about Wolfe’s miscalculations
he and Babe Ruth obviously
familiarized themselves with
roads and train tracks that only went
one way
oh, and another thing
‘Lyn-Brook’ is ‘Brook-Lyn’
spelled backwards