Waiting for the Bus to Arrive

The announcements were everywhere. Something was
coming. The newspapers scrambled huge black headlines.
The radio crackled indecipherable plans. Even this had to be
written from the default point of view. Everyone was waiting,
scanning the horizons and corners. Certainly the oceans
were getting more acidic. Certainly the first moths had
something to tell us. There is always a single pebble that is
the key to the whole dam. Serious investigation is the key
to recovering the clues. Rudolfo found his wits in a pile
on the moon in Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso but left everyone
else’s. My key was as stubborn as my lock. My phone
messages are all silent. My postage stamps are out of date.
I should have bought the Forever ones. It’s hard to keep up
with all the new information: hundreds of new species
discovered last week, new planets, new flavors, new policies.
Everything speaks. Everything is alive: trees use a language
of clicks in the wind like the San people near the Nambia-
Angola border. Geneticists say they are the origin of our species.
We have to lift our glasses to them for that. Mine is filled
with Ser Lapo Chinati 2005 bottled in honor of an ancestor
of the Mazzei family who first wrote about Chianti in 1398.
This doesn’t help me with the announcement unless I make
something up. Like the false wall that hid Piero della Francesca’s
pregnant Madonna from the Nazis. There’s always another
curtain to pull aside. Anything means something to someone.
Does the cat stalk the birds at the feeder or do they taunt
him by drinking? The storefront church on Main posts gospel
messages against drinking. They can’t see Christ drinking
from a brown paper bag. Everyone wants a mirror that lies.
But the latest announcement is like a hearse broken down
at the side of the road. Is the mailbox ashamed it has never
traveled? The San people probably exited out of the Sudan,
across the Red Sea. Why does everyone want to leave before
the announcement arrives? Even Anna and Emily’s dog keeps
escaping. April’s dog brought home the head of a deer some
neighbor shot. When you approach their nests Mockingbirds
target you, and later remember who you are. This is a distinct
message. It is 11:42. The bus is late. No one says anything.
I’m just standing here like a sleepwalker asking for directions.

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