by Jarrett Thompson
Eyes wide open, breaking free from the sockets;
deep in thought, a process I am not used to.
5 AM on the corner of right and wrong,
I see all the charred faces, white lights.
The bitter cold of the morning rattles my bones.
Loud music in my ears, smooth jazz,
horns, ragtime chords, trumpets.
Hollowed spirits. Louisiana men
playing card tricks in the streets.
I am uneasy, cold from thinking;
the tenderness of the bass
drum and guitar prepare me for release,
less tense, though I am anxious to
get to my destination.
Wild horses trollop at my feet.
They were ponies on an island.
Rainbow-colored people, gifted minorities,
toe tapping, knee-slappers, pale faces.
This bus filled with singers
with song, happy blues players, and
gap bands, floetic songstresses on stereo,
singing sweetly on key.
Writers write to inspire readers; readers
read to contradict society.
The joy of today is merely yesterday’s
midnight misery. To my left a man sits;
he is free from his holding cell.
To my right the bohemian rests his feet,
his baggage looks heavy. The bohemian
and his bag board this bus,
questions existing, travels resisting,
misters and misses, mistresses,
masters all the same.
How do we get out of here?
The road is a never-ending pathway:
white lines, chalky split lines.
Signs are everywhere pointing
towards somewhere, yet the bohemian
has no destination.
I’m a sinner; I know who I am,
each glimpse of me faster than the other,
my legs cramped between life and death.
The bus seat is nothing like home,
it’s velvet upholstery,
catnip to the vagabond:
blues and whites, chiffon,
gaudy color schemes.
I close my eyes, in my mind I hear my mother:
hush child, you’ll make it through the ride.
The voices all around me chatter,
one voice on top of the other;
the bohemian bus philosophy born.
The writer keeps himself alive along the ride with words.
The convict, free, contemplates his next move.
The woman in the front watches me watch the road;
she looks at me through a reflection in the window.
Together our eyes enter the city; inside of them is fear.
What will become of us once this bus ride is over?
Our thoughts are no longer singular;
linked somehow, even the fascist
atheist thanks the atoms for safe travels.
The city big, we of the world,
gulped like a sugary sweet. One at a time
we tap-danced off of the trailway,
unafraid of the eyes that greeted us. Hello...... Hello.