by Élisabeth Soubry
Arts & Culture Editor
a collective breath clouds my view of the outside world,
the bus rumbles and turns,
bodies press together as the odours of the day
and the weakness of the evening
causes the bodies to give in to the irresistible force of gravity,
pulling them down softly onto benches,
musky and damp.
The rumble of the engine covers conversations
almost as much
as it mesmerizes the mind
of the tired worker and student.
Public transport they call it.
A cavernous, insalubrious, infectious mess, I reply.
I see the germs collect on the poles who, sadly,
are being used often for support and rarely for dancing.
They propagate from one hand to the next,
a gift of disease to the world,
even to that shy guy who sits in the back.
The stop buttons that are marked with wear
indicate our return to our houses, our homes and our spaces.
The crinkle of food and the paper exchanges
mark the sharing of friendships and of conversations.
The flickering lights that turn on and off at the rhythm of new admissions,
The bodies cringe as their sleeves, arms
and legs mingle and touch strangers of their kind.
The connections and separations are clear
by the tunnel vision expressed in faces of strangers
and in the side glimpses of acquaintances.
My body is one with this unit, with this noise, with these bodies.
I share limbs and personal space, despite myself.
I hate the commute, but I love the experience.