day pass

the wheels on the bus go round and round,
round and round, round and round
towards downtown, through the trees that stand tall
on the side of the road begging for
the pennies that are our thoughts
their arms outstretched toward the sky blue sky
we sit inside wearied by the summer sun
and texas’ heart still beats life through our veins
though we are sleeping the sleep of the uncommited

like love, i am a rebellious bird,
flown away from many a nest, still in search of home
trying to find that olive tree where i can land a while
but while the waters rise around me i will set myself in this
traveling ark full of priests and poets and prophets and pride
a rainbow of promise still unfulfilled
(the driver on the bus says “move on back”)

and wisdom raises her voice in the streets
“come and drink, all you drunk on the spirits of the age”
while she holds up a sign that says “will feed you for work”
children, she don’t want your coins, she wants your change
so she’ll sit a spell on sixth street and sing redemption’s songs
like an ancient liturgy only the deaf can hear
(and the mamas on the bus say “shh, shh, shh…”)

some stranger buys a day pass and plants himself
right next to me, a kaleidoscope of stories:
“darlin, don’t you know how lovely you look
this mornin?” and i look into his eyes full of
midnight wine, note the tattoo marks on his hands
(one says “love”, the other “hope”)
and smile all the way home.

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