Metamorphoses: Midland Mainline

Metamorphoses: Midland Mainline

First, I’m a novel by Michael Morpurgo

barely held in the shaking hands

of the woman in the waiting-room

on Platform 2, then I’m one of two

inked stars on the back of the neck

of a bloke who’s running down the steps

onto the same platform who asked attendants

at the ticket-barrier Is the lift working yet ?

because, yesterday, he broke it.

I’m one of two tattooed

stars on his neck. I’m a wasp in a tizz

being bopped with a copy of Zoo

and I’m mad, so mad, I won’t let

this guy past the front cover.

Then I’m in and out of the purse

of a bolshy woman in carriage C.

I’m a seat reservation receipt

but was all she was given. She’s told

to get off the train but we’re

through the tunnel outside Chesterfield

and she’s acting it out into her mobile

for her friend. After, I’m cheap mascara

diluted on the cheeks of a fifteen year old

whose boyfriend, back at Derby station,

lights a fag of freedom; then I’m a toffee,

one of a bagful her mum dropped

from the table and I slide between seats 6a

and 13b, eventually make it to Sheffield

where I’m a black bin liner filled

with polystyrene cups and copies of Metro.

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