December 02, 2003

The 91 Bus

Jamie stood alone by the dim streetlight,
Watching for the 91 bus.
She felt his presence too late.
Dirty hand on her mouth
Knife to her side. She didn't struggle
Let him push her into the baby blue van.

No seats in the back, he made her lay
Down. To her left a pile of blankets
On her right an empty McD's wrapper.
He slapped her face over and over
Getting his hard-on; peeled her
Orange layers, tossing aside her skin.
He dug into dry undergrowth.
Jamie turned her head
Stared at his white Keds
Her mind a rolodex of images

Her professor's face tonight
When she came in ten past eight
(still in her work uniform)
History class would save her future
Get her family out of this neighborhood
(but even rich kids have pedophile grandpas).

Papa watching the ten o'clock news
(she wasn't on it yet)
Waiting for her return.
Leftover rice and frijoles in the fridge.

Mami's old pink sweater
(Jamie almost wore it tonight)
Forgotten in the hall closet.

Jamie's thoughts encased her in glass
A sapphire in the hands of a thief.

by E. M. Soos

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