Riding the Bus at Night


Image credit: Travis Huggett. http://www.travishuggett.com/
The night bus 
cradles the weary
and
those waiting
for the day

only those who
know
the city’s cocoon
can appreciate
the hustle
and ritual
of its
morning
butterflies

or

the way speed
blurs tenement lights
into a stained glass display—
diffused halos
of
red and green,
blue and yellow.

To ride
the night bus
demands
you living
with the shadows
moving
with you,
behind you,
staring down at you
from all
that is
decaying
and
rising up
all around you.

Maybe
you will
spend the ride
staring indifferently
into the night,
trying to understand
the mystery of the dark

whether
these shadows
are
guardian angels
or
vengeful demons

or
just another
version of you
even more lost,
and
are unable
to help
in the
speeding bye.

You
can share it
with
your mate,
but seeing
their own
helpless terror
will keep them
silent to yours

or
you can
touch
the seat in front
in dread,

maybe
join the night,
like all others,
in sleep,
suspended between
yet neither
touching
metal nor leather—
hoping for
bright dreams
and not
uneasy nightmares

perhaps
at the very least
resting
your elbow
on
the metal neck brace
in front,
cupping your ear
with your hand,
screening out half the screech
of
all the inevitable
stopping and starting,
hoping
for just limbo.

Ultimately,
you notice
that the love
that’s next to you
is real
and that
when you
close your eyes
and kiss,
the dark
turns bright
and
the next stop,
the one that
you both
get off on,
is a short
walk home.

JonathanMoya reads Riding the Bus at Night