Mudlark Flash No. 27 (2004)

Arlene Ang

Arlene Ang lives in Venice, Italy, where she edits the Italian edition of Niederngasse. Her poetry has appeared in Drexel Online Journal, Smiths Knoll (UK), The Pedestal Magazine, Melic Review, and Tattoo Highway. An e-chapbook of her poetry, DIRT THERAPY, is hosted by Slow Trains.

Atocha Station, Where the Line Stopped

Weeks later I still mourn
being a housewife, my trips limited
to the grocer’s, upstairs then down
for indolent chats with neighbors.

Manuel left on Thursday morning,
never came back. There must have been
a moment when I could have burnt
his toast, made him miss the train.

When the first sirens spliced
the streets, I was cleaning windows.
From across the hall, Isabel banged
my door. I was the last to know.

Weeks later I still ring
his mobile phone, listen to the refrain:
This is a nonexistent number. This is...
I double check, dial again.

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