The bus driver sees people as they really are:
survivors & corpses going for regular treatment,
shadows & lights moving in a tunnel,
loved & loveless reflections in a rear view mirror,
like him, the sufferers of whole-body vibrations
of the potholes & uneven pavements of the road,
the sedentary motion breaking their backs
until everything is saturated in grief, anger & pain.
In the swing room among the crack of eight balls
and the other drivers sullenly chewing their lunch
he writes a history of the young father struggling
with a stroller who slips on without paying,
the obituary of the white ghost with the
5 o’clock shadow who boards at the hospital,
all notes for the melodic line for his sax solo
at Johnny’s that night.
His fingers touch the imaginary valves
& before the movement is over
the road chants for his return.
He puts on his blue cap,
tucks in his shirt & straighten his pants.
The abuse is almost immediate,
starting before he can sit and close the door.
The engine revs with the melodies of the city
& in the harsh notes, he hears the smooth variations
that will drive him through the long night ahead & home.