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
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.