The School Bus that Wasn’t

A green school bus

At the bottom of the sea.

A cold, heavy home,

For the likes of you and me.

 

 

At the front door there’s an usher

He greets me with a line.

He says: “We’ve got much to do

If we’re to waste all this time.”
 

But isn’t there a purpose

To me ending up here?

“Yes, definitely,” he reassures,

“You can’t just

float

off

and disappear”

 

 

But say i were to let go?

The current’s strong around these parts

What if it just

carried me

Away to a fresh start?

 

 

The barnacles and algae

that wall this rusty shell

Nod their silent agreement

That i depart this listless hell.

 

 

“Your flesh won’t make that journey,”

The usher spits into the wind,

“Just come inside and take a look

At our little house of sin.”

 

 

“You see, you need to stay, new friend,

I insist you simply must.

Our engine runs on in-finite fuels

Fear

Anger

Lust.”

 

 

Before the last word was garbled out

I noticed, at my feet,

He’d clamped a weathered anchor

that clinked

a chorus of conceit.

 

 

It dragged along the mossy floor

and followed me inside,

All the while my bones, they screamed

to run, to hide, to die.

 

 

Armchairs loomed in fresh leather

Where the bus seats used to be,

I imagined their new residence

Some place sandy, rusted, free.

 

 

The barman poured out shots of gas

Directly from a leak,

I watched the bubbles bounce about

Before I watched them flee.

 

 

Arriving and departing,

It seems that kind of place.

Only I’m in shackles

And there’s too much empty space.

 

 

You’ve set up this whole spectacle

Just for the stranger at your door?

“Naturally! We’re purveyors of

fine things

… They make for fine decor.”

 

 

At that i give the interior

A fresh second inspection:

Walls papered with tax returns,

Ballots from farcical elections.

 

 

What godless place have I stumbled on?

I must’ve muttered aloud,

For now the usher chokes a rasping laugh

“We’re a long way from the clouds”

 

 

Glancing up instinctively

I’m met by my own fate:

Kilotons of sea above,

Snap-crackle tectonic weight.

 

 

I was told that Hell would scorch me,

Singe my skin and my insides,

But the ennui that burns me here

Is marbled and dead-eyed.

 

 

It’s logical, thinking back now,

That death should feel this way:

A damp and musty sleep

that smells

Like flesh on an ice tray.

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