At the bus stop, dust floated up,
blurring then blinding both eyes.
The woman beside me, too cognizant of my pain,
flashed a sudden smilenicotine-stained teeth
to the tumbleweed cartwheeling
prong-armed between us. I could see her
watch me without watching.
Did my Napa Racing cap intrigue her,
or my muttering in low, insouciant breaths
that reeked of morning coffee,
phonemes, syllables, vowels,
the trying-out of some new poem
bursting up to consciousness,
cracking the frail egg shell that released it
wet and wobblinginto the world?
Or maybe it was just my eloquent presence.
In ripped-to-hell jeans and a ragged black hoodie
sprouting new holes every second, I looked
dangerous, I assumed. Too ravenous.