Another forty minutes in a stranger’s armpit,
oh boy. How do you like avoiding eye contact
with me, sir in neon windbreaker?
Let’s stare at the logos mass embroidered
into each other’s outerwear, listening
to whatever podcasts or pop music
the wires lift into our ears. So many
public strangers whose voices we never
hear. How do they sound murmuring
down the telephone’s dark tunnel
toward loved ones? Staring at stickers
that in urgently red uppercase letters read,
for your safety please hold on, I want to
graffiti, to each other, to the ends of them.
I’m sorry — love is ruining my sensibilities.
Above us, posters advertising education
and mortgage rates glow in blue light.
We contort to respect each other’s personal
space, as the bus puts on passengers.
It’s funny how distant you can remain
sharing oxygen and travel. It’s funny how
your backpack says, honk if you like
honking. Sir, I’m honking. For your safety
please hold on to each other, violently on
all the sofas, mattresses and futons that fill
your respective housing units. Please
hold on tightly to your beloveds,
who’ve miraculously not been flung
through the windshield at red lights
while crossing the city to return to you.