Another Saturday Evening On The B1 Bus by John Grochalski

the three arab girls across from me
are complaining that they didn’t like the service
they received in the dunkin donuts
and i don’t like that the woman sitting in front of me
is blasting an inane sitcom on her iphone
laughing like a hyena and slapping a metal bar
while i’m trying to read baldinger’s poems
it’s easy not to like anyone or anything
coming home from work on the bus
we’ve come so far in our day and back into so little
these annoyances, this having to deal with one another
as civil specimens in a world we know
is careening out of our control
no one on this bus is reading poems
and maybe that’s a good thing
to most of us it’s just another saturday evening on the B1
tired, greasy roaches cramped into this death cylinder
with bright fluorescent lights and the faint scent of urine
with a bus driver who looks at us when we get on
as if deciding who can live or die
sad bags of flesh are we
still i wonder, in this hostile political climate
what exactly happened to the arab girls in the dunkin donuts
what was said to make them so initially angry
aside from shitty service and bad coffee
but then they all start blasting their cell phones in unison
tv shows and music and some strange bleating siren sound
that makes my left eye twitch
and the bus becomes a cacophony of racket
a new and undiscovered layer of misery
and i don’t care who said what to whom
or if world war three pops off this very night
i put down baldinger’s poems and i just sit there
unable to decide if i feel more like dante or columbus
finally realizing in the end
that i just
feel like shit.


John Grochalski is the author of The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out (Six Gallery Press 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), In The Year of Everything Dying (Camel Saloon, 2012), Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street Books, 2014), and the novel, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013). Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, in the section that doesn’t have the bike sharing program.


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