hobart logo

October 21, 2019 Poetry

San Francisco Municipal Bus Routes 43 & 38R

Steven Duong

San Francisco Municipal Bus Routes 43 & 38R photo

July yawns. Flashes its grills
at the gray world dissociating below.

Listen! The steady hum of app-builders
building apps.

View from my front steps:

sign marking the bus stop, dangling from the mouth
of the woods like a chewed-up toothpick,

bus eyeing its own shallow breath
as its shell rattles in place,

bus fare, politely forgotten.

My neighbors rise early, make coffee, instruct
their Teslas to ferry them south.

Here, two Vietnamese aunties wheel ramshackle
dynasties up the hills of Japan-

town in rusted shopping carts.

Here, I try—and fail—to catch the greased
monosyllables they spill in their wake.

Summer settles in my skin like
a traffic jam, a new lover.



image: Doug Paul Case