#16 Hastings

While Downtown is beginning
to raise up its lazy grace
from the curve of Cordova and Carrall—
the bottle depot is closed for business.
And at Main and Hastings—that crux
of intersection—
street lamps are dying. Every eye
half opened, baffled by light
thinking
apples v. oranges
a perfectly valid comparison.
The bus doors—curtains on a moving stage—
shutter open on a body
—a god sized hole
opening to ascent of the injection
under a scab of fog—
who begins to rehearse that established
pretense: searching for change in broken pockets.
And Lucio said
that nothing benefits life more than
a witness. So record
that old ataxic supplication:

“Driver?
Could I just get a ride
down to Hawks?”
Then watch wings of steel and rubber
enclose the body of the voice
while Downtown is beginning
to lift up its lazy grace—
the eastbound bus
travelling you deeper into darkness.

Jennifer Zilm has published two poetry collections Waiting Room (Book*hug, 2016) and The Missing Field (Guernica, 2018), which was shortlisted for the Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award. She lives in the Greater Surrey Regional District (East Vancouver), works in in libraries and is an expert bus rider. 

To view other content published in this issue, 9:2, please visit Vallum’s website.

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