‘After the Melody Ends’

Namboku sen sign

The melody ends

On the Namboku sen,

The doors close, it sends

Me to sleep again.

The  fluorescent light

The telescreens bright

Amongst the walled looks

Of headphones, manga,

And English vocab books.

11pm on a weekday night,

On a train that’s  crammed too tight

To breathe, I sleep

Swaying on my feet.

Robotically I can keep

Still, as the metronomic beat

Of the sleeping train

Stops, starts to the melody refrain

As I, as always, wish in vain

For the journey not to end

And send

Me back outside

From the only place to hide

That is – the sleepless sleep

The underground creep

Of the salarymen

Along the Namboku sen.

But everyone knows

‘Doors close soon

After the melody ends.’

By Taro

Image courtesy of OiMax (CC BY 2.0)


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