Sometimes it is the sprinklers that turn on at night, misting the grass, their steady music you continue to refuse. The enormous hares quivering just outside the pools of streetlight. Sometimes it is the scrapyards that the train rolls past, trailers on their sides, pink paint fading, now just hulls. It is a dream always seen receding, cattails by the tracks growing smaller. The brief upward spin of gulls. The tremendous loneliness of seeing a wild coyote for the first time, its slick body disappearing from the road. There are ways of riding the train that make you feel old. From these tracks the tide is too distant to see, and you are left to imagine it– the low sound, the steady pull.
Stephanie Niu is a poet from Marietta, Georgia. Currently based in New York City, she earned her degrees in symbolic systems and computer science from Stanford University. Her poems have appeared in The Southeast Review, Poets Reading the News, Storm Cellar, Midway Journal, and Portland Review. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram as @niusteph or read more of her work at stephanieniu.com/poetry.