Yardley Wood

Yardley Wood 20:21
by Kibriya Mehrban

And how different would everything have been
if on some strange night in some quiet carriage
our lines had crossed
you making your way to
the sandwich cart, me looking for a place to sit
and instead bumping into you and coming to a halt.

After the fifteenth text and the third lap along the lengths
we conclude we are not on the same train at all
I’ll be the guy with a book
and a panicked look
I said
but you only spot me after I disembark and wait
for the 08:21, an express train at its lucky last stop.

Spring arrived late this year. I stood on the platform
for weeks, waiting for the snow to melt from the rails
only to spot the season
blooming into being on the
other side of the tracks, ten meters and a crossing away
while here, leaves were still falling like tickets torn in half.

And now we can admit that we would not have been friends
as kids, your disdain for sports and my hatred of pink
keeping us on paths
perpendicular – we would have
crossed in some awkward icebreaker before moving
in endlessly opposite directions, connecting once and then never.

I’ll meet you at the station when the world returns
it’s been a long time coming but I don’t
mind the gap
no delay is forever
all lines lead to together. On different trains
but we’re on the right track.