She sat on the suitcases.
He went again to the counter
to ask when it was coming. “Late”
was all they would say. It was almost two.
Married fourteen hours,
nothing left to say. They sat,
missing their connection in Chicago,
missing the ferry in Michigan,
losing their hotel reservations.
But now the platform was humming.
And now he was lifting her up
onto the narrow shelf bed
where they began the creak,
squeal, lurch, and clang into their future.
Out the window it was passing,
slowly, then faster: backs of warehouses,
backs of factories, junkyards
wrapped in trash and shadow.
Then, “Look,” he said, “it’s Instant Whip.”
A spotlighted billboard: white, red, clean.
“Instant Whip,” she repeated,
in her fog of love and fatigue.
She would remember this sign, this night,
as years blurred like trackside trees,
his socks still on the floor,
the gas tank left empty,
her lip numb from biting back words;
she would remember her head on his chest,
his arms around her, rocking, rocking,
how like whipped cream
the expectations heaped on the plate
collapsed in the mouth like so much air,
but leaving the taste, sweet,
yes, sweet.