Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2019  Vol. 18 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
 print preview

School Bus Brocade

Now snow wets the squeaking black
floor of a bus. Always ten, she kicks
her boots, her backpack leans
between us. Rectangular windows
fog. In ours I draw an Arctic line,
finger-wide, ice-wet, as we leave
one stop for another. Like this dream,
a sparrow streak of light sidewinds
east, and when I curve the line
down, like this, toward the
window’s silver ledge: green-gray,
red-brown, beautiful, even as
we speed to where we risk
we can’t return.

To connect this viewless ride—
this core-rattling teeth shudder,
rear tire chains biting
frozen highway—to where she
has gone, a route I can neither
be on nor refuse, is light
balancing the slope of two points
before the wheels move. Who
reaches to wipe the window’s
compass in the passing buzz
pinetrees guardrails cowfence

return to top