And then suddenly:
you feel the bottoms your shoes turn to omnivorous mouths of starving shop-vacs —
you feel your soul grabbing,
clawing, desperate against
whatever lives at the bottom of your stomach
as it is inhaled through your soles
and left in the fear-filled footprints you’ve
You almost break your neck,
looking back out of a window that seems never to show you enough of your past
as you realize that you forgot to pick
up your bags off the ground at the bus stop.
You had set them down
like they were prone
when a man you decided you wanted to grow up to be
asked you for a light.
All you could think was that he had done what you wanted:
he’d found a way to live his life.
He was, or sure seemed, free, and
and other adjectives
that you didn’t know
existed adjacent to real life possibility.
You had spent the mini-steps back onto the bus telling yourself
that you were not going to cry —
thought that it wouldn’t be something
that the man
would have done.
You had walked down the aisle to your isle of a seat thinking
that you had no idea how you would ever
to the place you planned
to chase to.