BUS TO KIGOMA
Wait, slow, stop, go, blizzard of red dust comes through the windows like poison nerve gas, I hold my breath.
Overcrowded, babies everywhere, sweaty, hot, shoeless blind peasant leans into me, our wet skin mixes.
Now sitting on the floor in the aisle, he leans his shoulder on my knee seeking support navigating in his darkness .
Losing all personal space now, we are hot and sweaty,110 rattling spines like eggs in a carton on a cratered red dirt road.
Iron Maiden t - shirt sick man wants my seat, jaw crunching, teeth rattling, too many plastic bags, everyone sharing bodily fluids,
Then, spontaneous stop, we are all out of the bus, into the bush, bathroom break, women left, men right,
Women rubs my hairy white arm that is turning red and smiles, time for many diaper changes,
Little boy next to me vomits in a plastic bag, a lot! I offer him a napkin and then when he’s done offer my water bottle.
He takes a swig and offers it back, I shake my head and say “yako ni sasa” ( it’s yours now) he smiles.....now better,
Poverty on steroids, we are dust covered bait worms in a hot tin can going west.