Bus Ride to the Horizon

Dark highways sprawl over surfaces
Like veins crawling under obscure spaces
Where brown skin and flesh reveals
The invisible threads of unyielding forces
Talking about multitudes of ancestors,
The collision of native lands and colonizers,
The concrete slabs and irreversible scars
Paid for by governments that vaguely promise
Better lives among greener pastures
As overseas contracts completely dislodge
The latch that once locks Pandora’s box
Displacing peoples even as we fill the cracks
With comforts of place-making, of lush oases
Memorializing our suffering while in crutches
From the poverty creeping inside our bones…

How do dark horizons relieve these journeys
From endless hours of reviving ghosts,
From the restlessness and unrelenting duress
Even when highway lights illuminate distances
And human activity negates the vast emptiness?
Roads quickly flush out automobiles
As much as travelers never stay in one place
While I wonder how little princes call out nonsense
When adults never seem to hold their horses;
One even called me grumpy during lessons
As I laboured not to teach, but to sustain finances,
Finding a crude way to combat the voices
Continuously hiding invisible bodies
The way Indigenous women are found lifeless,
Immigrant men of colour are deemed terrorists,
Black lives splattered with unnecessary violence,
Gendered labels dousing passionate fires…

As I lay my eyes on moving tail lights
While the bus traversed across tainted lands,
Long rows of phosphorescent traffic cones
Speak volumes about linear trajectories
And movement channeled in orderly fashions…
How I wish life would just shed its complexities
And bring us to a nexus of understandings,
Shunning the woeful whims of ignorance
While seeking out highway signs for directions,
Squinting my eyes beyond liminal borders
The impatience grows for elusive city skylines.

– jkf, 10 November 2018. During a long bus ride to Montreal.