A girl rocks back

in the worn vinyl

cushion of the city bus


and passes a small

airliner from hand

to hand, a secret:


her thumbs split

the fuselage along

a thin axis, releasing


its terrible innards,

the wings retracting

into barbed arms,


the nose cone doing

a quick snap-turn

so the hidden mouth


baring its silver teeth

clicks into place.

As the bus doors


open with a hydraulic

sigh, the lights

of the match factory


form a constellation,

a multitude of

stars, unwinking.



Originally published in Barrow Street