The Ancient Bus

The Ancient Bus

The ancient bus,
It’s stone-age motor growling
Elemental chords
Of metal satisfaction,
Stands here waiting,
Wide mouth gaping,
At the sidewalk’s edge,
Waiting here to swallow me.

It seems I’ve been forever
Riding this grim city monster.
Prowling, growling,
In the evening gloom it passes,
Through the lifeless concrete streets,
The chilling, lusty concrete streets,
The stagnant, stifling, sterile streets,
Of evening’s sated city,
Coughing slightly at its self made stench;
And always, I am riding in it’s bowels,
Half-digested by its harsh electric lights.

This is all there is,
Except for one small mirror
Throbbing just above my head.
Perhaps with one small mirror less
I would have gone insane,
Except for this small mirror,
And for her.

She comes each night,
And sits behind my head.
She brings a book or magazine
And reads.

It’s then I come to life.
I love to stare into that mirror’s pallor,
To glove my gaze among its throbbed reflections,
And drink her features in.

That lingered glint of sunlight
In her eyes;
A microscopic galaxy
Among those sullen emery boards of light.

Here eyes have eyes within,
It seems,
To see me as a wish would have me seem.
But all too soon we reach her stop.
She steps into the street,
And all too soon is swallowed up by night.

A hollow metal hiss:
The monster leaves me standing
Undigested in the street.
Lament, lament
The spittle-soaked cement,
Lest some small throbbing mirror
You should meet.
A token of advice:
If ride the bus you must,
You pay the price.

(written Monday, October 18, 1965, 10:00-10:30p.m.)

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