A man takes a train from Durango to Yosemite,
traveling 185 miles an hour. On an island off Labrador
a woman sets out on bicycle and foot, a book
in her pack. He plans to sleep his entire journey;
she has packed binoculars, a journal, a sandwich.
They met, once; he has hung her face in the corridor
of his thoughts, a stolen painting he sometimes visits.
It's his book she carries. His signature jumps
where she made him laugh, and he asked her again
to spell her name, and she gave it. In his seat,
he twists his ring and watches a flutter in passing,
a grove of aspen in a mahogany canyon.
How many hours before each arrives?

Cortland Review 2001

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