#31 to Los Angeles

Staring into the nostrils
of humanity
you sleep together
sharing smelly feet
and house slippers
snores and indigestion,
no doors to close
no shades to pull
the rattle of paper pillows
the clanking of doors
the all-night glare
of station lights
and nameless destinations,
days of rotten coffee
old people and
tuberculin air.

Too long the victim
of public toilets
and filthy linoleum
home becomes important,
with cobwebs in every corner
laundry to wash
and bills to pay
it gives some substance
to this life
tenuous as the trains,
home where it’s
quiet and private
and you hold me
when I’m sleeping.