Public Transport

7:45 in Billinge: a Wednesday,
and it is late again, raining again,
ten minutes’ worth of moisture.

It is 2010.
It will come at 7:47, I will board it,
It will smell like old dust
seeped in cheap perfume. Choking
on a tie pulled too tight,
on a lack of words.

Then it will judder and swing,
rain clinging to the windows
like loose threads.
I will convert siren laughter
into white noise.
Damp sinks into my skin.

It is 2013
7:45, Billinge, a Wednesday,
A different destination.

It would have come. I would have boarded it,
He would have moved his bag and smiled and
Pretended our conversation was more
Interesting than the page he folded over
In a book I made him close.
It would have come,
Two years ago,
At 7.47.

One quiet, swollen minute early,
I step out to meet it.
It meets me first.
I fragment myself against a bus window
Sirens screaming
White noise-
This service terminates here.


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