The Isn’t Bus

An eye has risen over the city
and weeps its green lye. The city is as thin
as light; it blinks in and out; here now, gone now.
The street is and isn’t. I take the isn’t bus.
At the lights the bus is. On entering the bus station
the bus isn’t. We disembark into a pale flame.
Moths as large as coats expire as smoke
in the air around us. A woman begins combing
sound from her hair. The sound flocks
in the brightness above us, a liquid ball of dark;
it coagulates over the city. One by one
single chimes fall from the sky. The concrete forecourt
of the bus station is littered with starlings,
now fluttering soundlessly at our feet.
A man removes faces from his briefcase
and distributes them to everyone nearby.
The face he has given me is disconsolate. I pull it over
my head and it slips into place. Another bus
enters the station and we embark. We ask
to be taken nowhere and the driver kills the
engine. In the stillness of the darkened bus
we wait without any expectation whatsoever.

—John W. Sexton