On the bus without a book
A dismal opportunity

My mind seeks input, activity
(People-watching seems unwelcome here)
Maybe I could meditate
Or try a road game
Maybe I could write a poem
On my tiny
Shopping-list pad 

Hmm, not a bad
Idea, though too precious by a few
I’d want to somehow make it new
Skip the rhymes
Break patterns

Next to me
Kid has a scar
From a dog bite when he was 8
34 stitches
His dad put the dog down
It wasn’t the dog’s fault though
It was the kid and his brother’s
And their dad’s
Still, he lost half his blood
So you can kinda see it

I overheard that
Not the opinion part
That was me editorializing
Animal stories bring that out in me

Now the kid is a Juggalo
(Google it)
And he learned how to shoot weapons
At a Marine camp or something
And the dog’s still dead.
No update on the brother or dad.

What’s up with that glass-plastic
That invites swarms of smeary scratches?
Unique to buses I think
I hope

Next to me now
Is a too-chiseled beauty
With enhanced eyelashes
She’s making up for
Deep-seated acne
The first thing she thinks about
When she greets the day

Juggalos can’t be gay
That shit don’t fly
But they will give you half their stuff
I was only kind of listening
So take that last with a grain of salt
I wouldn’t stake your retirement
(or dating)
plans on it.

Return trip now
I was pulling a tight turnaround
And I forgot—
     sweaty and heaving from the run;
     out of breath, and a little swimmy;
     and ashamed at my weakness—
I forgot to get reading material
Fool me twice

This ride is better
A real window and a front-facing seat
More elbow room
Seems almost over already
Another mercenary mission accomplished
One step closer to
No longer having to
Ride the bus.

September 25, 2013