City Bus



City Bus


On a warm spring day, under a magically distorted sun,

I was bitten by a jittery black squirrel,

The sort of odd black squirrel sometimes seen

In the trees and streets of New York City.

The bite didn’t anger me, as it was obvious

That the squirrel mistook a friendly gesture for danger.


Across the avenue, a large gray bird was raping a smaller one;

At least I believe it was a rape

Since “no” does mean “no” after all,

And though I couldn’t see the victim’s eyes that well,

I detected nothing consensual, nothing flirtatious amid the flapping.


On the sidewalk by a bank, the ordinary and extraordinary collide

When a man without muscle tone and the stunner from the incense shop

Perform an obviously open-mouthed kiss,

Shivering despite the heat, or perhaps to spite the heat.


My bus arrived, but without the usual driver;

I wondered if this new driver, in a fit of rage or something similar,

Had squeezed life from the body of the regular guy

With those monster hands that sat mounted on the big wheel;

His wide, sadistic grin was a direct contrast

To the gloom of the riders as they stared glumly ahead.


I took a couple of reluctant steps up to the entry door,

But then hopped spryly back down to the curb,

All in one motion like some weird little jig,

And allowed bus, driver and passengers to roll on the hell away.


I watched the local news intently that evening,

Plainly expecting to hear a tale of tragedy on a city bus

But instead heard only the inflated ego of the anchor,

Whose junior college degree had been parlayed into a jackpot.


I looked in the mirror hard that night

And loved what I hated about myself.


Nathan Graham


Nathan is recently retired, and thus far his retirement has consisted of a LOT of naps. Since he is convinced that there must be more to retirement life than naps, he decided to write down some poems and stories. He is a pretty nice guy that likes to watch sports on television while eating nachos with a fork.  He does not drink but doesn’t mind pretending...if there’s something in it for him. He has no publishing credits to his name. That’s not the end of the world, is it?

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