with a gentle leaning
she presses her shoulder
into me
i am reading
jamaica kincaid’s
"my brother"
feigning indifference
pretending not to notice
her perceptible presence
but personally
i am swept up
the ride is bumpy
us together
in such close quarters
she folds her legs
in the style of
a woman mature
whose long since learned
to own her hips
and not attempt
to sit
like those stick figure
white women
right leg draped
and laying
softly across
the left
both knees pointed
inward of my direction
i am still reading
jamaica kincaid’s
"my brother"
a passage which speaks to
the curious nature
of jamaica’s mother
for picking
at her children
in this moment
i let loose a broad smile
and some inaudible
i want her to think
it is because of
what i have read
i don’t look into
her face
to determine if she
is reading me
i feel her eyes
in my direction
perhaps she is
admiring my grizzled face
maybe she is simply
peering forward
down the corridor
out of the windshield
towards the outlay
of our journey
i won’t know
and i don’t ask
we sit here
in our silence together
navigating the bumpy ride
readjusting ourselves
in the only slightly
her shoulder still pressing
into me
i feel the heat
lifting off skin
transmitting through
her jacket
like a semiconductor
and i wonder
how long will it last
"Next stop Jackon…"
the announcement
gives her cause
to unfold her legs
and arise
i am still reading
jamaica kincaid’s
"my brother"
i don’t raise my head
to see her off
but my heart waves
perhaps i will be moved
to say hello in the future
even though i know you only
by your shoes
and the back of your head
and the bus you rode
14 Jeffery Express
was the number
of the shortest
i have known
in my lifetime