The Boarding

One of these days under the white   
clouds onto the white
lines of the goddamn PED
X-ING I shall be flattened,
and I shall spill my bag of discount   
medicines upon the avenue,
and an abruptly materializing bouquet   
of bums, retirees, and Mexican   
street-gangers will see all what   
kinds of diseases are enjoying me
and what kind of underwear and my little   
old lady’s legs spidery with veins.   
So Mr. Young and Lovely Negro Bus   
Driver I care exactly this: zero,   
that you see these things
now as I fling my shopping
up by your seat, putting
this left-hand foot way up
on the step so this dress rides up,   
grabbing this metal pole like
a beam of silver falling down
from Heaven to my aid, thank-you,   
hollering, “Watch det my medicine   
one second for me will you dolling,
I’m four feet and det’s a tall bus   
you got and it’s hot and I got
every disease they are making   
these days, my God, Jesus Christ,   
I’m telling you out of my soul.”

Denis Johnson, “The Boarding” from The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly: Poems Collected and New. Copyright
© 1995 by Denis Johnson. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
Source: The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly (HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 1995)
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