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A Persistent Smell of Gas in Chile

Zuzu Tadeushuk

I was the only one who knew they walked into their tomb

and yet I kept sitting there too. 

Me in mine and they in theirs and

still I lingered.

Hard to defy death when it means giving up a soft seat.

A seat smack on the bulge of our demise,

on the hot red 

smelly hump of a-moment’s-away combustion,

but I stayed through many bus door snapping shuts 

and menacing accelerations,

bating breath. 

A baby cried.

~ ~

But somehow the 

tomb declined to 

yawn just then

and we stepped alive into the night when it was practical

to do so and breathed the air at our stop. 

Then a car almost hit us, and I was 

the only one to know

that we almost died twice that night in Chile.