The Manchester Review
Patrick McGuinness
from Blue Guide
print view

II - Gare centrale

I had it for a moment, quick as the clash of two winds on a rooftop:
the smell of barley, hops, fresh diesel and its negative – used air;
then Belga smoke over the exhalations of the waffel-stand:

This feeling of penetrating misery is sponsored by Brussels
City Council in association with SNCB
announced a voice
in white over the station Tannoy. I filed this one away between

two stops, between Bruxelles-Nord and Bruxelles-
, between the word départ, so definitive and final,
and the word partance, an ongoing going, a leaving

still entangled in itself years later like the sound of a train
turning the corner, its siren coiled around the echo of the last to go
and the tunnel taking a moulding of our departures.