Passengers

The world will burst like an intestine in the sun,
the dark turn to granite and the granite to a name,
but there will always be somebody riding the bus
through these intersections strewn with broken glass
among speechless women beating their little ones,
always a slow alphabet of rain
speaking of drifting and perishing to the air,
always these definite jails of light in the sky
at the wedding of this clarity and this storm
and a woman's turning—her languid flight of hair
traveling through frame after frame of memory
where the past turns, its face sparking like emery,
to open its grace and incredible harm
over my life, and I will never die.
 

Denis Johnson, "Passengers" from The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly.  Copyright © 1969, 1976, 1982, 1987, 1995 by Denis Johnson.  Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers Inc..
Source: The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly (HarperCollins Publishers, 1995)
More Poems by Denis Johnson