Passion took the bus
right out of my life some time back --
I knew that suffering through the bumps
and the endless stops
that the process of leaving can bring
was more her strength these days
than glossing silver wings over clouds
chasing sunsets.
Feeling needed,
she probably chose
the squalor of empty eyes
and chipped tiles at the depot
over a concourse's cold marble,
its streamlined impatience,
criss-crossed contrails like falling stars.
weave through arrivals,
their comings and goings
seeking warmth in their blanket of crowds,
an anesthetic of anonymity
against the sharp pain
of close, intimate contact.
Sultry and darkeyed
she stands on the floor,
coursed by their sidelong glances,
aware of the current of longing,
the soundless splash of unvoiced questions
handed to her on silver platters
by strangers' stares as she looks down,
finding herself reflected.
I am fond
of the floor that she walked now,
I stare at it, wearing its sight as an amulet
against the silence arriving
that steals the scent of her perfume
and the warmth
from the things she has held...
Jon Bohrn (2000) ("Signs in the language of traffic")



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