Chekhov’s Gun

From a train, she passes how all things pass, wrapped
in their instants, messy and simple as the as-yet unlooked-at

complication, under the sign for a rail-station named Marsden –
which is like the surname of a first love, from

before I understood, like now – standing alone,
the inscrutable woman, all cheekbones

and short hair, and red polkadots rapped onto their white,
her hand raised to rest – perhaps briefly – against her cheek. Life,

for Chekhov, is neither horrible, nor happy,
but strange-unique-fleeting-beautiful-awful, according to Gerhardie

in this book I was reading before I shot by and saw the lee
of the sign for Marsden. And for me, also – and for me.

Joey Connolly


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