The Saga of Western Avenue

Whenever I hear
“Have a good day, now!” (bus driver)
and “All right now, you
take care!”
(departing passenger) I
can’t help leaning a little
into the microscopic
disturbance of molecules we call
language, ecstatic ripple
in the mass of air—
“You have a good one now!” (disembarking
black dude dressed up for Sunday
or Saturday night this
weekday morning) and “Have
the same yourself!”
(bus driver, young
and handsome underneath his
mirrored shades) and I can’t help
breathing all I can of that
audible sunshine, light
vibrating down its spectrum
to the human range, dancing
from a human voicebox to human eardrums,
down the thin string to a human brain—
“Y’all have a good day!”
(bus driver, laughing with the girls as men
get off downtown in their
business suits, pale against the heat
and unreciprocal) and
departing myself I can’t help
breathing it all right
back out again: “You
take care, now!”
(swinging down
at the other end of my
crosstown ride, the bypass
behind me) and
“Same to ya—”