Bus stories: A girl on the 63

She got off at St George’s Circus.

A girl on the 63 is sitting directly in front of me.
Split ends.
2 little bumps high up on her right cheekbone.
Unblended cream blusher. Pinky blue.
Clumpy mascara on uncurled lashes.
Ear pierced twice.
Dogtooth coat.
Tights in August.

No headphones.
She just looks out the window.
I track her gaze as it rises and falls.
And I love her.

The bells da-ding-dings.
I watch her as she goes, clinging to the yellow rail at the top of the stairs.
Her orangey-red nail polish has flaked away but looks right. Essie’s Fifth Avenue?
She’s clomping on the descent and I wonder about her shoes.
I look down to see her step out onto the street
but she turns the other way and
I can’t see her shoes.