Debasish Mishra: “The Corona Bus”

THE CORONA BUS             

The bus has come from another realm
with its skin of a graffiti wall

made of fresh roses, orchids and hyacinths
scattered all over its body

It honks outside the gate now
And I hurry up for it won’t wait

When I enter, I see passengers
from every place, from far-off

China, India, Africa,
and the countries down under

This bus is cosmopolitan like death
unbiased in the choice of passengers

The bright faces all dressed in white
crane their necks from the windows

as though it is their final journey
freedom from the drudgery

There are no more belongings
No luggage for this

unexpected journey     The driver
looks tired yet wears a mystic smile

It must be his hundredth trip
or more           He is working overtime

When I say, I have nothing
to pay for a ticket,

he curves his lips some more,
This journey is beyond money

Debasish Mishra is the recipient of The Bharat Award for Literature in 2019. His recent writing has appeared in North Dakota Quarterly, Penumbra, Amsterdam Quarterly, California Quarterly, The Headlight Review, and elsewhere. His first book Lost in Obscurity was recently released by Book Street Publications.


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