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Before Surgery

When the train approaches the tunnel

and the locomotive belches soot

when you’re standing in the corridor

all swaying in the gloom

when the windows are jammed open

and the compartment doors are stuck

when hot searing grit whips in your eyes

when black walls come rushing, crushing


When you’re heading for a crisis

and your throat is full of soot

when you’re standing there

all on your own

swinging in the dark

when your closest friends

have locked themselves in

behind compartment doors


When they cry out all scorched with grit

in muffled syllables you can’t understand

when devils whip into your eyes

and you can’t believe in God

all swinging in the dark

when you feel all you want to do

is close the windows of your heart


When you’re locked into a nightmare

and you can’t open your eyes

when you’re covered with this searing

soot that glues you to the wall

when the train is running off the track

and the tunnel looms long and black


Oh for a an apple

oh for a melody, a string of notes

a tune your night to crack

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© Johnmichael Simon



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