Behind, Before

I live in a place where the trains still come through.
Beyond the night, beyond daylight they go,
but carry few people anymore. We can be
virtually anywhere in virtuality in microseconds,
but the brute back of the world, its metals,
sugars and meats, cannot. We still need
iron, manganese, even a fund of chrome
for our bodies. These move in foods that move
the way they did centuries past, the way
those centuries moved. Heavy. Slow. Clank clank.
The future doesn’t brake for the past.
That’s
the grandiose thought. But if you listen carefully,
behind the trees, behind in general, you’ll realize the past
doesn’t brake for the future either. Something’s always
coming on from each direction fast, and either force can kill you
if you’re not the sort to pay attention.

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