Man on the bus

Back when I worked at Charlie’s

on Broadway,

in Seattle not in New York,

I got it for once from both sides –

the dreamy looks and jokes,

the ever-in-my-section, thumb-rubbing-

fingers like the promise of money –

and the thing itself – big tips and a

206- just for being me.

The money part’s the part that made me not

mind it overly much – though I’d hustle in and out

when it was a group of guys,

with their hush-before-arrival and

giggle-when-I-was-gone.

They could hope for their

“maybe later at the–”

where I’d never ever be. And so

it was nothing, nothing at all

until one day on the bus I

looked at a girl and she looked at me

till she looked away uncomfortably

and got off the bus.

Only then did I recall

the man who’d scared me off

with that same hunger on that same bus,

and thus became clear

what was ever clear to a girl:

Men will ever be menacing,

and I will ever be of them.

As night falls pregnant woment

As night falls pregnant women

exercise in the park and parents

clean the classrooms of the school

(with buckets and rags, I remember

how that was). It’s all green now,

every tree is filled with multiple

shades of dark green, the delicate

dusty pale pink has left us.

I wonder how soon I will see

the change again – the yet darker and fuller

giving way to the first gold.

Sooner than I think tonight, surely.

But happily, this easy arc of color

has no true downside.