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Bus Station Watts 12:13 a.m. | Poem


BUS STATION WATTS 12:13 A.M. by Jonathan Witherspoon Huey


Puerta Destino Horario Salida
Woman on payphone explaining the
problem of self-gratification in relationships,
toddler with shoes untied and pig-tails swinging wildly,
men with mustaches & cowboy boots & belt buckles
headed back to Mexico via San Diego,
but it’s all pandemonium with boots leather jackets
and all manner of baggage, ranging from
Samsonite to plastic blue garbage bags,
the black man with protruding lower lip
and a red feather in his hat holds his overcoat
as if he were holding a nameless sacred item that screams
“hey---I’m dignified” and there are so many children,
and so many women smiling at children,
and there are blankets and pillows,
and countless stories that I will never hear,
except for the woman on the payphone,
who has now moved from self-gratification
to the behavior of her boyfriend’s dog,
and I truly wonder if anyone is on the other end
of the phone, and she’s not a liar, and has better things
to do than lie, and he hated her when she was 3 months pregnant
and she feels as though her heart is down in her feet,
and I believe her, and am filled with overwhelming compassion,
this is real,
You know me, I’m me.


A child is crying on the floor,
a baby sleeps in car seat, covered by blanket,
girls in Billabong name brand gear drink Dasani
and proclaim Espirit backpacks, welcome to the Nike future!


There are no destinations,
and all movement ceases, when lovers
embrace in tears, and prepare to say


Where will we go?
What will we do?
Where’s my bus?
Where’s yours?


to Jonathan


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