augury doggerel

Thursday, July 22, 2004


I am on the bus behind the praying man. He still has the cheap prayer book. The book is thin and printed on thin paper. He should have committed it to memory. He might have. But paper is the ritual. He has kissed almost through the center of each page. He crosses himself.

I am in his smell. The woman beside me might think his smell is my smell. I might think her smell is his smell but I have smelled him before. His glasses have been repaired. He crosses himself. His ears are hairy and gray fur runs down in under his collar.

There is a woman in a pink shirt standing at a bus stop going the other way. He watches her for as long as it takes us to pass. Under his glasses he looks the length of the girl standing in the aisle. He crosses himself and he kisses his book and he crosses himself.

(I read a book by a woman on the bus. The same as last week. I don't kiss my book.)

When I look, he is big and furry. He crosses himself.


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