While her folks covered the full distance
of an argument, she entered the station at 2nd
and Main; at the counter, she scheduled
the nervous destination of Hope
because she believed
it might exist. The girl was raised sharp,
spent after-school hours on a rickety bicycle
and climbed fences to tangle with freedom.
She never ratted on the bargain business
conducted in alleys, never minded
the dark steam of each day lifting
from the flat table of tar,
but she’s tired of her parents’ wrinkled moods;
that’s why she’s traveling
through a sepia rendering of tomorrow
on a bus faltering along.
and Hope is the flat middle of the country.
The polyester seat gums into her shorts,
then pops when she leans forward.
The girl’s eyes are rivet and handle
on a porous childhood:
the kind that don’t often matter.
This yellow bus rearranged her future,
and now she thinks
she’s getting somewhere. She traces
the journey on her leg, then pinches her skin
to put in a mountain, to climb over something
other than her heart. In the bus,
she almost feels buoyant.