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there in the back of the bus

December 11, 2019

Written by Dave Persky

there in the back of that dusty bus

embracing the atlas cliffs

like the warmth of a snake around its merchant’s neck

austerity gifted me a glow

as if i were a local, greeted with

a fist across the chest, an outward

turn of the hand

not a barter, but not free

because it had a cost

only one i wasn’t meant to pay

from the darkness of that ceiling

languishing in the brushed light of passing headlights

chittering in its own tongue at every bump in the road

came a hand upon my shoulder

in this country, as i had come to learn

a hand resting on your shoulder

was the only thing that kept you grounded

that kept you from simply

floating away

so it was with a certain gratitude that

there, alone, in the back of that dusty bus

i remained uneroded

watching siphoned tears flow before my face

slanted like the lettering of an unfamiliar script

trailing off

to form some story in the night

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