even if it’s only past the car-lots
and industrial parks, our Lady of Diesel,
Tao of Tread and Motor Oil.
I used to take this bus to sit my sister’s chemo
with her. The contour of the hills
seemed to define the solid shape of hope.
Now I see I see a mini-golf course, a tilting windmill perched
there, painted turquoise, blades spun by rotor, not wind.
At the bus stop, a man in oversized brogans, his mouth
pulled out around an invisible enemy,
probes the crack between pavement and retaining wall
for a butt long enough for a puff. The gap
above his cinched belt shows an inch of dusky skin.
I make myself look again, imagine myself
bowing down before him to kiss this man there.