The 201 bus back to the station is already full and her perfume is a punch in the face.

Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg; trapped in her rain sodden coat. It’s December and the rain has been coming into the city at 4pm every day for a week. Shrunk into the metal safety bar behind me I examine her bewildered face behind sleep deprived lids. I don’t think that I could ever look like that after a rain shower, in the bus light the droplets on her scarf turn to molten gold. Is this a crush or am I just exhausted?

She snaps her head around, plastic tortoiseshell earrings sticking to her neck haphazardly, results of the downpour.

“Have you got the time?”


“Uhh yeah it’s half four.”

“Hey thanks.” Audibly.

“Shit,” muttering into her coat collar, turning away. I want so badly to be drunk on a liquor that smells like her perfume.

A metallic voice from the front of the bus indicates the next stop. She steps off gingerly into the street.

As we pull away I get hungry. I wish that I had stolen her coat.

She stands like a maple tree bent by a northwest wind, steadily dripping gold into the city drains.


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