Locomotive

A train thrashes through the city. The machinations of ancient switcheries have conspired against this, acres entire of antediluvian and twitching metal all coming together, all conjugated in mute resistance, but this is happening now. The train rams itself down 202 Clumbine/Dixen, past the gurgling throat of South St and its thyroidic emanations, flecked steel and flinty traffic, now Darwyn and 34th, girdles and snappish sphincters all around, moving as if by vulgar oath – insistent, justified, bristling.

It has a purpose, there will be no meandering about it, no foreplay. The people it carries are insects, glass insects. A great borborygmic cackle is its sign and herald. Is it not true, my friends, is it not true that a message is only as good as its deliverer? People in their homes look up at the sudden braid of white metal run like a bright worm through the brain. The train bursts into the Great Arcade, moving in its own exhalations of steam and silver, breaking the glass in the trellis, a barbarous thing through which there comes evening light congealed into pale sweet fluid, a substance for which no name has been given and which falls, even if bereft the necessary taxonomies, onto the ribs and rails as they buck and buckle, a signal that this is indeed the time for this sentinel, this Being with its scatological visitations, this arachnid in a halo of comminuted steel, to reel in by mechanical means old torsions and liabilities yet unresolved. It runs a shiny fuck off past its erstwhile companions lined in their stalls and it is out again, glowered canticle shearing air from other air, even now exultant, even now inexplicable – past Miserere, through the labyrinthine airs of Downing, all its grime now shed, transfiguring safety barriers, peeling paint off the zygotic tunnels, insects inside now stirring in horror and volubility, unaware or aware of how soon they are to be borne aloft on the high spirit airs of explosion. This is one kind of proselytisation made of chrome and thudding parts and murderousness, if only you would look at it—

The train crashes into the outer Wall. It is moving so fast that it buries over half of its shaft in fabulant concrete before its crumpled arse grinds to a shudder and a halt, and finally the fire comes and takes the high section of the wall falling all the way down below where it trundles and rolls gigantic through Parkway and Sennet and Colm St, down the hill of the District, flattening thousands with the weight of its benediction.