A silver chain, what’s come
between us, pulled for egress
makes a tin ping on a Tri Met
bus, 82nd and Foster in front
of the jewelry store
that mocks the poor...Christ,
those chains that drape the clavicle
of a scantily-clad mannequin, topaz,
sapphire and plaid,—from inside the store
she beckons like Daytona shill with checkered
flag as a still life, like a Flintstones wife
on land line phone as this empty bus
roars by...I'd have gotten off
miles back, but my druthers cut no
mustard here; it's down to a bum chain
on a Sellwood-bound bus, histrionics
and innuendo, the stuff what’s always
come between us, and a driver wears grape fez,
snakeskin cummerbund, iPod and hearing aid,
with pooka shells in his dread-locked braids
painted brightest silver. He’s bobbing

madly, nodding his head to a backbeat
might be Nine Inch Nails, War or Tommy
James and the Shondells. Once more
I make me a megaphone with cupped
palms like solipsistic mime playing
carnival barker an earthly driver can’t
hear, this here’s no garden
variety vanity
in rearview mirror, crisp 56
degrees on the tarmac but hot
as sin in this nonstop bus, my mien
so like these windows, tinted pale green
and meaningless, impossible to get off...
A busted light bulb chain—what's come
between us, static cling like mannequin’s
lacquer and black licorice on the tip
of my tongue...shhhhhh...can't tell a
soul, it's no damned use, I'm an obtuse
troll in rapid translation, abject
object of the laughter
of the young.


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