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.