The bus bumps and humps all night. Full of passing bodies.
I tilt to the right. My forehead against the glass.
I close my eyes hoping for sleep. Hope is a trap.
I start to doze. Memories dump me awake.
So awkward to recriminate in company.
When you are constrained to be quiet. Sit up straight.
Look out the window. Night is tattooed black and tarred. Hear
the somber rhythms of the road starring backup vocals
by an all-girl group The Caskettes. I am not going to sleep.
The coarse wool of my companion’s suit is scratchy.
He reaches for my hand. I bend toward him.
He smells like Lucky Strikes and spiteful sweat.
He lights one for me and passes it over.
I make a sound. Murmuring grunt maybe. Satisfaction.
Cigarette smoke licks my cheek & elbows my ribs, get it?
I tap my foot to the music. It’s not really funny.