Awe and Possibility

On a bus
many people sit
observe with me
two women—
strangers—
distracted by each other,
Finding awkward beauty
in each other
one is too shy to admit.
The other, very bold,
eventually
stops pretending to read
and takes a leap.

The other young woman looks up,
slightly panicky expression—
she’s being spoken to by
an attractive person,
the one,
in fact,
she has been secretly admiring.
Her brown doe-eyes go wide,
the exact color of chocolate.
She blushes furiously
at the sudden attention.

The exuberant stranger sits
perpendicular
to her seat,
feet resting,
knees tossed against the seat back.
Now though,
her feet touch floor.
She leans forward,
seeming to savor
what her eyes light on:
a gorgeous girl
enveloped
by a too-heavy knit sweater,
made silly
by summer.

Our bold one,
book now abandoned,
attempts to engage
her subject.

The shy young lady
responds nervously,
succeeds in conversing
at least for a time,
until she stops abruptly
as if ashamed
of how many words
she has spoken.
She looks down at the floor of the bus
where it jolts beneath her feet.

The daring stranger seems to see,
with unclouded eyes,
the truth—
few will listen
to a voice so soft,
although it might bring forth
such a lovely sentiment
to all who would
take the time.

But let us hope,
for our bold one is unique.
While she may talk
perhaps a bit
too much at times,
she knows the power
of attentive listening.
She encourages
the soft young woman.
Smiles are received
on both ends.

More talking,
more listening.
I begin now to perceive
great potential—
they could be the perfect mixture.

Bright citrus
and melting chocolate,
or the pop-sizzle
of a chemical explosion,
the muffled hum
of a jazz standard.

Ah, now look.
The timid young lady laughs,
and the other is compelled
to make more jokes.
To impress,
to hear that laugh
once more,
it’s an overwhelming desire.
She can’t deny herself,
so she doesn’t.

After the laughter is done,
a look is shared—
the long glance
of two
who want to stay
like this forever.
A beautiful tension
builds—
their potential could be
realized.

But our shy maiden
suddenly remembers this is her stop.
She must go
off the bus,
to wherever the next destination is.
The bus pulls to the curb.
She can’t leave
the stranger she yearns for,
yet the doors are snapping open,
and a recorded voice shouts
that she must vacate.
A tide of urgency sweeps over her,
so
trying to be brave,
she gulps,
terrified,
pulls forth pen and paper,
produces her number,
and passes it to the other woman.

The bold female accepts,
rendered speechless
by the sudden beauty
of it all,
simply smiles
and presses her lips
to her desire’s hot cheek.

Her bashful counterpart,
relieved
that her advances
have been accepted,
blushes yet again,
stands,
and waves a momentary farewell
as she steps off the bus.

She then takes a minute
and stops
to starts breathing again,
to be proud of her spontaneous action
so unlike her.
She finds in herself an enjoyment
of what this thrilling woman
has brought forth from her—
this goddess
who has just kissed her cheek!
She is overwhelmed,
with awe,
and possibly,
maybe even,
with blooming love.

Words by Miette LaPierre