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Syndic Literary Journal

At the Gare Bruselles-Midi

Narrated by Bill Wolak

New Jersey

At The Gare Bruselles-Midi

By Lawrence Ferlinghetti


Two people saying goodbye

but not saying it

Saying nothing

in the station at noon

in the gare Bruxelles-Midi

Not a word between them

They’re both looking straight ahead

Their hands are clasped

on the café table

all four

hands together

as in a children’s hand game

Their hands are big

The man and the woman are not so big

They are grey and green


Nondescript but distinguished

Even their skins seem grey

Il a l’air d’un petit fonctionnaire

a little bureaucrat somewhere

It is he who is taking the train

Perhaps back to his wife in France

The woman here is a little younger

but far from young

Maybe he’s French she’s Belge

a wartime romance perhaps

Now forty years after

they’re still meeting

across borders

Their four hands like the four wings of two doves

folded together

unable to fly away

from each other

Very capable hands

capable of a lot of things

but not of saying goodbye

not even of waving goodbye

Their hands are mute as mouths

He stands up now

He picks up

his heavy valise

He stands there still

She does not look up

He keeps standing there

looking nowhere

Then he walks away

All at once he walks away

around the corner out of sight

carrying his heavy valise

and his heavy briefcase

She does not look after him

She does not turn her head

She stares straight ahead

without blinking


A fly



on the



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