Timothy Liu


All Trains Are Going Local

Slowing down your body enough to feel.

Thought you were at a standstill
but you were only slowing down enough

to feel the pain. There are worse things

than running to catch the train, twisting
your ankle, the afternoon fucked.

Running to get to or away from?

the stranger who helps you up
wants to know, you who are so used to

anything scribbled on a prescription blank.

Just want the pain to go away, you say,
surprised to find yourself

reaching for someone else's hand.

The Silence

She took the spareribs out of the oven
and set them steaming on a plate
before leaving her apartment.
I didn't know how long to wait,
tore into cold meat when I decided

my mother wasn't coming back.


No one knew about the gun she kept
in her purse until the authorities
called — a.38 caliber pistol
with a pearl handle and a trigger
even she could easily pull —
her car still waiting to be towed
from a roadside ditch

when they arrived on the scene.