Rain needles the air
Like tiny lightning bolts
A shower of slivered diamonds, liquid gems,
Bouncing off the pine trees’ gleaming needles
Sliding slickly through a pepper tree’s filmy leaves
To the bench’s cold metal-mesh below.
The bus stop bench is two-thirds full:
One third—a man in a slim grey suit
One third—a woman in a blouse and skirt
One third—an empty space filled by rain.
The suit plasters to his back like cling-wrap,
Soaked-through nylons encase her legs,
Their eyes scan traffic—hushed and rushing
As it skates and sloshes across the slate grey street.
The white bus, color-splashed
With vibrant posters and flashy ads
Is not in sight.
“It’s running late . . .” the man says.
The woman nods.
Rain falls between them, in grey sheets like aluminum.
Shivering, fidgeting, they watch.
Just across the slick, wet street
The brown-brick comfort of a coffee shop beckons
Brimming in coziness, caffeine, and warmth.
The window sign pulses O-P-E-N in neon pink letters,
Blazoned against the tin-like silver of the rain.
“Do you know the time?” she asks.
“It’s nine sixteen . . .”
At nine nineteen
The eight fifty-five bus hisses by.
Its vivid ads a blur of color,
It rolls past the bus stop bench,
Now three-thirds empty.
The window table in the coffee shop is two-thirds full.