Waiting for the Bus (in Henderson, NV)

It’s just a hole-in-the-wall convenience store

Doubling down as a bus terminal

On the road to the El Dorado.

Beyond a wall of warehouses and power lines

Projects the hazy image of Las Vegas

Against a screen of blue desert mountains.

It is already ninety and, with still half an hour

To kill, I go inside.

A decrepit office chair announces

The waiting room of damned passengers

Forced to sit for eternity wedged

Between bookcases of DVD porn

With titles like Drop Your Drawers,

Ass Candy and BodASScious

And a long showcase stocked like a

Museum of the tawdry with marijuana

Papers, bongs and pipes of all colors,

Detoxifying products like Urine Luck

And Ready Clear, a Venus de Milo-shaped candle,

Dagger paperweights and CO2 cylinders,

Radar detectors, gargoyles topped with

Little glass plates to serve up snort,

Long knives with silver and gold

Handles shaped like cobra hoods,

Even a corn cob pipe and bronzed shoe.

Over my head is a rack of Hustler, Playboy,

Penthouse and others harder still. 

There is no escape.

I try to pass the time with the local

Entertainment rag laced with

Lusty leather-strapped women advertising

Cabarets and gentlemen’s pleasures.

I put down the paper and clutch my book,

Reading it deliberately as if to

Cleanse myself of these primal images

With a baptism of pure words.

Just in time the bus comes.

I scan the islands of passengers

Scattered among the mostly empty seats:

A tidily-dressed retired couple,

Two young women in silver-sequined

Running suits, and a gray pony-tailed guy

With frazzled beard and vacant eyes.

Gazing at my fellow voyeurs,

I wonder what vices

And passions they harbor.

Together we travel in darkness

Afloat in a wanton sea of desire

That defies my sensibilities

As I delight in being part of it all.                                                                             ©Gene Twaronite 2013

Originally published in Wilderness House Literary Review, Summer 2013  http://www.whlreview.com/no-8.2/poetry/GeneTwaronite.pdf