Lyric Fire: Poetry Re-Purposed – Cinema Series! – Sinful Symphony, A Poetic Take on the Train Scene From “Unfaithful”

Being that we’re coming up on Valentine’s Day, I’ve selected one of my favorite scenes from the film “Unfaithful”, to feature in the second edition of my Poetry Re-Purposed – Cinema Series. Usually we like to focus on fantasy relationships during this time, but as we all know, love can take many turns and present itself in a myriad of ways.

When the film starts we see an attractive and loving couple in Connie (Diane Lane) and Ed (Richard Gere) Sumner. They seem to have it all. A beautiful home, an adorable son, money and great careers. But their perfect life is threatened when Connie meets a handsome stranger, Paul Martel, (Olivier Martinez) who is house-sitting for a friend who is a book dealer. He is taken with Connie and in a brief chance meeting they decide to give in to their romantic desires.

The scene I focus on is one of the best in the movie and in my opinion, quite arguably one of the best displays of emotion ever seen on film. We see Connie going home to her family on a train after her first tryst with Paul and she is simultaneously wracked with feelings of guilt and tortured by explosive thoughts of the passion she’s just experienced:

(The video quality is average, as I recorded it from a DVD that I own and uploaded it to YouTube)

My poetic take is called “Sinful Symphony”:


all day dealing with celebrity hubris


ears ringing from multiple takes

mind-numbing music blasting

overblown egos

lip-synching to empty songs

the money is great

though my creative heart-beat

is stuck on pitter

red-rimmed eyes


from harsh colors

bright bulbs

oh to luxuriate

in a bath of bubbles

escape into a symphony


i see her

see doesn’t see me

i smell her

a faint smell of human coupling

lingers on her skin

her perfume is fading

the scent is intoxicating

i’m close by

the train’s rhythm

is an extra stimulant

her passion is evident


but wait

i see pain


i want to ask if she’s okay

but i don’t want the show to stop

i’m mesmermized


i see her walking

into the apartment



something new


her heart longs to beat faster


her soul is content


it’s not enough




why she wonders

have her needs surpassed

her current existence

in front of her

new language

new life

new music to dance to


isn’t that what all women want

why don’t they admit it

we can relate

let’s explore together


i feel guilty

i am in her private space

watching her gyrate


and relate

in new ways

moan in other arias


if only she could see my eyes

she’d know it’s okay

i’ve been there

more than a few times

but i love my wife

i’m sure she loves her husband


human frailty

is nothing to be ashamed of

i love her music

it’s brash and broken

makes me also want to dance


i extend my hand in an invitation

but i know she’s

had one too many

dance partners today


her bravery speaks to me

it’s not easy to grab what we want

in moments

we feel enslaved by our choices

but aren’t we free


come and dance with me

i’ll rock you to sleep

take me away from my

routine life

i once loved women like you

my thoughts were once in your brain


this sinner’s symphony

is so delicious

but down deep i


it’s wrong

music this decadent

has got to be forbidden


i wonder if she will ever complete her song

if the stanza will stay

or if it will be lost forever


and unplayed


like old 45’s


i sang her song today

i was touched by the melody

i’ve lived the lines

and swayed to the beat


music like this is



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© 2012 – 2014, TamekaMullins. All rights reserved.

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Comments (15 Responses)

  1. melissa says:

    Oh Tameka…I haven’t seen this movie yet but I could tell you chose the most powerful scene (although on the technical side I’ve seen something similar in Bollywood’s Murder ~
    Anyways… I loved every word you wrote in your poetry ~ I could totally relate with the Sinner’s symphony…Do you also have a song for redemption?

  2. jan says:

    Oh my, I have several emotions wandering around about this. I best keep silent. Loved your poem.

  3. Wow, Jan. You know I’m curious about these mysterious thoughts! Thanks for reading! Now you have me pondering! 🙂

  4. Melissa, that’s a great idea! Perhaps I can make that part two of this post! I will also check out the link on Bollywood’s Murder. Looks interesting! See, I love when we can share new things with one another. You should see this film though. It’s really good!

  5. Neil says:

    Tameka….WOW..absolutely captivating. Loved every word oh and the images you created will last me until this time next week!!

  6. Alejandro says:

    I have seen this movie I just know I have, but I have a memory like a sieve. The words helped to jolt it..

  7. Thanks as always for your visit Alejandro! 🙂

  8. Janaki Nagaraj says:

    Beautifully penned poem.

  9. Portia burton says:

    Dear Tameka, as usual you are brilliant!

  10. Thanks Janaki and Portia!

  11. rimly says:

    You captured the emotions so brilliantly in your poem Tameka. I have seen the movie but completely forgot till now. You are one talented lady.

  12. Rimly, your words are appreciated. From a talented lady as yourself, what an honor! 🙂

  13. Andy says:

    Hello Tameka.
    Great actor & actress. Loved the movie & have seen it a couple of times.
    Awesome poetry…I’m sure many have danced to the sinner’s symphony.
    Keep on thrilling us with your magical words, dear friend!

  14. Thanks so much Andy. I will keep doing my best!

  15. Jessica says:

    Great prose as always Tameka…I’ve never seen the movie..I’ll have to check it out!

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