Carsick

{Thoughts from a stop that someone else tugged for}

“If you hit a wall, kick it in”

The man with no teeth
kicks the seat in front of him
boots laced to his knees

I get off the bus to leave his line of vision
but pass him one of my molars on the way

The woman at the donut counter
winks when she hands me my  coffee
scraping pink frosting from her fingernails
all year long, I pull threads from my t-shirts
braiding safety nets under desks
nodding like I was listening to the conversation
now, a piece of donut floats
to the bottom of my coffee
and we both grow softer

If I pulled the pin from my shoe
put a star on my upper arm
something would stay the same
now, there is rain losing its balance
tumbling down the window without its stomach
the hissing, bubbling world sits just below our feet

Something in the kitchen clangs to the floor
nerves are shallow:
a grumbling countertop
sterilized
unblinking
at least pain moves
kicks the back of the seat in front of it
wears leather boots
knows that carsickness comes
with not looking forward

“If you hit a wall, kick it in”

If my ankle scatters across the floor
clanging like a fork dropped
at a dinner nobody wants to sit through
then that’s a sign too

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