Inside there is warm and outside there is rainfall.
A light flickers to the beat of the wheels, alternately illuminating
eyes and humans.
Off to the right there is land—full of empty—and to the left,
At the back there sits a group of four women,
two with knees on vinyl seats, facing their companions, oblivious to the world.
A pothole envelops the wheel and the light flickers and
on goes the bus.
I sit in the middle of the bus
and you toward the front, your eyes mirroring the rainfall,
and I would do anything in the world
to learn the secret to your humanity.
Abruptly, my attention is pulled from you to the women
at the back, whose laughter burdens the air.
You sit there, and I do not know which port
you will choose, but for now every drop of the oceans fills the bus
and across the great Pacific are the women
at the back, exotic, their stream of words
falling like rain
into the divisive waters. And at my feet are reflections of humans,
bravely riding the waves in our boxy metal world.
And what a world
it is! You don’t see it of course, your mind still at the airport.
There, too, I glimpsed the beauty and disgrace of humanity,
but nothing like the bus.
Here, all of you thrive, reveling in your shared ambivalence, at once
irked and amazed by the rain
that falls—arrow-like—and just misses. You, me, the women.
I suppose you too are a woman.
But nothing like those who sit, spitting secrets in the
back of our world.
You do not sit. Instead, you hover, on the edge of falling
back into the airport.
So I thank the bus,
glad that you are stuck here, with the mud and the breath and the humans.
Here, on the bus that is our world,
we pray, each. You, quiet. The women, loud. Me, to the airport.
I thank it for these humans,
and the rainfall.