Academic journal article The Hudson Review

Emissaries of the Sunless Hours

Academic journal article The Hudson Review

Emissaries of the Sunless Hours

Article excerpt

They board his bus near midnight. He knows

These three are trouble: leather jackets black

With rain and woven from the dark, the studs

Of metal in their faces glinting like stars.

The one who comes on first is thin but tall,

Hair blue as lapis, face pale as the fangs

The driver's pretty sure are porcelain.

The way he's sure this trio will stiff him. Coins

Sliding like liquid from his fingers, the Goth

Looks at him: May I please have a transfer, sir?

The driver waits for something more smart-ass

As he hands him one. Bluehair nods: Thank you.

Polite as well, the other two follow him

To the bench seat in the back. I won't go near

That seat, an older woman told the driver

This evening-that's where all the assholes sit.

In the rearview he sees a guy in a ball cap

And Husky sweatshirt (the driver's alma mater)

Grin and shake his head as the three pass,

Saying something to a girl across the aisle.

She ignores him, the wire to her earbuds

Trembling like a bifurcating vine

In a breeze as her head shakes to a private tune. …

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