Layers: a haibun by Jenny Middleton


Oozy silence warbles inside bridge tunnels, their stock-bricks dank with moss and dimness – climbing. Trains percuss above, electric and brittle with low-fi hum then roar. Their interiors shooting passengers to the city. Seated inside, he is dressed in cut denim – slit to reveal his skin –a brightness bulging from the overlaps of wearied cloth, he crosses his legs, boot to knee, and scrolls. Pink scars of healing flesh lope beneath his clothes as he fixes his eyes on her – seeing she knows more than he wanted to share.
Then it is Balham and bodies press into carriages and eat the space to odd intimacies, pilling lives amongst old metro newspapers and tattooing suits to coats and stillness – breathing. Day opens here on the rails, its juice bleeding with sticky segments of bisected time and when she looks for him again, he has gone – the gap he existed in – closed – severed with the slide of electric doors, filled now by others and outer echoes.

tracks slice mossy day
jolting with electric darkness
a city bleeds lives

@2020 Jenny Middleton


Follow Jenny

Jenny Middleton has written poetry throughout her life. Some of this is published in printed anthologies or on online poetry sites. Jenny is a working mum and writes whenever she can find stray minutes between the chaos of family life. She lives in London with her husband, two children and two very lovely, crazy cats.  You can read more of her poems at her website


2 thoughts on “Layers: a haibun by Jenny Middleton

  1. Great work Jenny. You can feel the compression of time and space a train journey brings, pulled in to a shared journey and experience with strangers, with no escape until you are unceremoniously spat out at your destination.

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