Bus Riders, by Michael C. Smith
But for the indentations of their eyes, their faces
lack features. Their stillness has the weight and volume
of genocide. They stare ahead with the dignity of those
who have earned the right to be left alone. Their unholy whiteness
sets them apart from everything around them, even
the eggshell walls.
Next to them, my own skin is developing
like a photograph in a tray of chemicals, brown
freckles darkening, pale veins
burning bluer, tiny unfelt scratches materializing
in red branches. Soon,
I expect the flagged spires of Disneyland to surface
on my arm, as though my simple breathing body
were a family vacation from these people
and wherever they are headed.
Michael C. Smith
Michael C. Smith is the author of Writing Dangerous Poetry (McGraw-Hill) and the coauthor of another book on creative writing, Everyday Creative Writing: Panning for Gold in the Kitchen Sink (McGraw-Hill). His work has appeared in several journals, including Iowa Review, Seneca Review, Northwest Review, and more. Recently his metafictional story, “Bass Weather,” published originally by Gemini Magazine, was included in the 2017 Best Small Fictions anthology, edited by Amy Hempel, and including works by Joy Williams and Brian Doyle. He lives in Pomona, CA, and is a proud graduate of the MFA program at the University of Arizona.
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