[Fiction] ‘Train Ghosts’ — Yash Seyedbagheri

My older sister Nancy keeps me away from trains because of Mother. Nancy’s called her “Anna Karenina,” in unguarded moments.

But in each clickety-clack, there’s an energy, the sound of curiosity, the desire to create that Mother once had. This was before the crying and hospitals.

Nancy tries to distract me with movies, hovers with overwhelming energy.

No use.

Some nights, I lean out onto the tracks. Imagine Mother, a silhouette in lavender.

Did she whisper contrition? Did she think of us?

Maybe she slipped.

I feel the same weight, danger offering empty salves.

Now I cry when I hear trains.

*

Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. Yash’s work is forthcoming or published in Ariel Chart, WestWard Quarterly, Café Lit, and others.

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