Michele Hoben and Ashley Seitz Kramer

By Michele Hoben
Inspiration Piece provided to Ashley Seitz Kramer

One Learns To Stare Out
The Window, Not Down The Aisle
By Ashley Seitz Krame

The woman on the bus wants the darker side left out.
When the 55 sails past her stop, her heart is sailcloth.
These waters are strange and cold, but here she is
swimming Clifton Boulevard in a red dress.
How expensive and foolish! How unexpected!
The woman on the bus wants to overestimate her cigarette and all it ashes into.
Today she aims for Emerald City, for a swell of good green,
a field of Forsythia, sunlight wedged in
like a newspaper between seats. The woman on the bus
can smell her own wanting. Her body
balances one thin life, barely.
She chooses a hoop for a house and lives there, inside it,
pressing her hands to the rim each evening. Each window
has to be eaten through. Each door fallen across.
The woman on the bus recalls the woman on the bus
and means me, of course.
She offers me money for one stick of gum and I shake off her coin.
She offers again. That’s silly, I say.
Don’t mean to be beggin’ she says.
I know.

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