Leipzig Train Station by Ally Malinenko

Here’s what I want to do,
you tell me
outside the Leipzig train station
after we were just informed
of a 10 day train strike
which will make getting
back to Berlin
and our flight home

What? I ask

I want to go back to Berlin now.
Forget Prague.
We need to be in Berlin for the flight next week.

I listen to what you’re saying, look around
the city stretched before me
where only yesterday we were having wine just outside of Bach’s grave.

No, I tell you.
I’m not going back to Berlin.
I have nothing in Berlin.
No hotel. Nothing.
I’m going to Prague.
I’ll figure it out from there.

I say it with such determination
so adamant
that you believe me,
you agree
and say

Yes, you’re right
shifting your pack
on your back
as we turn and head back into the train station

and I think,
if we can’t get back
if we miss that flight
maybe we’ll just have to keep going
from Prague to Vienna
to Budapest
to Bucharest
to Egypt
and then I won’t have to go back
to the life
I left behind in Brooklyn
my sick cat
my sick body
the year of cancer
the drugs
and injections
the smell of treatment center
the sound of the nurses
when they say my name wrong

in Egypt,
I will be someone else,
someone with a new name
and a better body.
Someone who finished a novel
and is sitting at café
with a cold tall glass of mint tea.
Someone who doesn’t worry
about going home
or the death of love
or tomorrow.
Someone who is just here
for the moment
and always moving forward.


Ally Malinenko is the author of the poetry collections The Wanting Bone and How To Be An American (Six Gallery Press) as well as the novel This Is Sarah (Bookfish Books). Forthcoming from Low Ghost Press is a poetry book entitled Better Luck Next Year.


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