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The Story is Not the Story












Trailways Bus to Manhattan

For Rich Corozine, Paisan

I’m headed south on a Trailways bus—off to hear writers tell their tales at City Winery— sitting across the aisle from a stylish couple, could be from Woodstock, maybe she’s in her late 40s, him possibly mid-50s, me thinking they’re French, their huddled voices subsumed in the whirring tires, accent agues, du raffinement français buzzing in my ears as I lean sideways, stealing glimpses of her unwashed-looking dreds, his black curly hair, shiny as if he just stepped out of a shower, the two of them gesturing the way I imagine French people speak, manicured fingers, mourning doves swooping outside the grimy bus window, her high cheekbones, his hairless arms, her crow’s feet, an early waddle beneath his strong chin betraying their adolescent self- assurance, a volatile sexual relationship unfolding over 90 miles, passing by sooty tunnel tiles, the groaning, choking upgrade into squinting sunlight between 11th and 10th, the three of us headed into some dark fiction that is Port Authority, its seedy truth, where I lose them in the crowd rushing to the street.


—SL, June 2023, New Paltz, NY





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