Buses, trains, and planes. These modes of transport where we are suspended, in limbo from one point to the next are perfect environments for the poet. Poet Alexis Ivy proves the point with her frame of mind on the Greyhound Line.
Two blind guys get on talking
to the driver, grinning at
the daybreak, feeling out the sun.
By Dallas, the man in the aisle,
jingles a canister of pills,
three for five to sleep. I sleep
through miles of homemade road signs,
strawberries next exit. At Burger King,
I watch a townie eating chicken.
The ketchup met the mustard on
the dance floor of his plate. I smoke
a smoke, pirate hot-sauce packets.
A dreadlock in Little Rock gives me
the window and a southern slow
drawl that works on me for a while.
Share my whiskey flask with its
hundred mouths stained on the rim.
I get off to stretch on Bourbon Street.
A woman hands me Creole food,
a drive-by van throws fresh socks stuffed
with a new bar of hotel soap
and a Jesus pamphlet. Let the penny decide:
heads, I take two mangoes; tails,
a blanket for the bus. I sleep through
Alabama. The flower peddler in the row over
tells me I’m an orchid, tells me I’m the greatest
secret. I tote myself like a sleeveless guitar.
The sun rises higher than I’ve ever been.
The driver points out the window
to the Atlantic in case we are
still thirsty. Everyone
going somewhere, I follow
myself to keep up.
– Alexis Ivy
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