Terry Lucas

The Arrival

28 December 1895

Two platforms give
Perspective to the silent opening

Scene from The Arrival of a Train
At La Ciotat Station. Orthogonals 

Merge, tweezing a smoldering dot, growing
Wheels, smokestack, bell—and now the tail

Emerges from the vanishing point, in full view
Of the crowd gathered in the Grand Café’s basement,

Watching the black boiler bulge, fill the screen on the wall
With soot and steam, threatening to burst through studs into the 

Dining room, break vases of chrysanthemums, plates of half-eaten Crepes
Flambé, scatter waiters cutting through the flickering, dust-flecked beam of light—

Never shining again with such surprise, such innocence, such living black and white.