by Johnathan B., 13

by Lauren R., 17

Rust and stone stampede the bottom of a freight train, its cargo: humans. The mumbled murmurs of the city sink into the seats, sticking and clawing at the dampened thread over my hands. Frostbitten. That’s what my gloves become. Frostbitten. Frostbitten and stiff, scratching at the surface of my glass hands, turning dark. Fear coagulates along with my blood. Horrid. But yet, black has never been a prettier color. The color of outlines, markers, and lines that make up professionals’ notebooks filled with legitimate words that the black ink made stronger. The words weld like the fingertips that stay behind, brushing against the hot-by-friction nails in the tracks that make this ride home just a little bit safer, a little bit warmer. I thought I saw the sparks from the old man’s hand, but the light gets misplaced, convoluted, and fogs up the window. The shards of the city loosen, shed along with my now leather hands. No longer am I holding more than what I needed to take home. Vision foggy, body bubbling. The street lights, like white angels, remind me. This train always leads me home.
Howell, New Jersey