where the bus takes you.
One long pull on the cord
and that soft butter gut flutter buzz you get
like hide and seek in the dark when you were eight or nine?
--means you’re getting off.
You love the feet-sticky floors
the backwards fold of the origami doors
the swaying in the aisle
even the sideways ballers and rollers
the winkers and queue-eyed blamers angling around you for bank shots:
check that hard whack clean smack bang it
-- eight ball sinks right in. Warm and deep.
You like being rattled loose.
from your change.
Always a nickel short and being stared at.
You’re an uninvited fog
hanging corner-rude and heavy.
You don’t mind stripping in the dark
numb and thumbing gutter pennies.
You like the hollow bite of losing
scraping sharp against your tongue
when nothing fits and nothing matches
barefoot bottom on the rung.
And every alley is your theater
and you’re living under wheel wells
and they’re hating you and
huffing your ripe diesel. But
where the train goes.
You’re living just to ride it.
One flip loose gripped ticket ripped and tripping;
the full tilt thud of sliding in and pulling out.
Bruising over worn tracks
strung out towns and veins collapsing
scratching, smoking, chasing dragons
never getting anywhere. Still
where the rain pours you
monster eyed and sunken
you could cop another bundle
feed the wet ghost
in the window
rocked in rain and
framed in midnight
…or you could just get off.
© 2010 susan beck
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