—Lyle Rosdahl“Thanksgiving Morning” by Trey Moore Two smiles shine dully. Unwrapped from reused shopping bags stuffed into grocery sacks, folded into smaller packages of plastic and shared by remaining travelers. Those smiles could use some polishing, but they exist. The smile, a purposeful act of defiance. Somber-mouth statue of a woman behind ticket counter, thankful for the twenty-five comrades sharing the line. A group of Ukrainian students. A permanent, purgatorial guard of travelers mills crossroads of the bus station: Houston, Texas. A young man, shouts to security,
Somebody stole my bag. They tell you to sleep. While I was asleep, somebody stole my bag. No one saw nothing, right? Somebody stole my bag and no one gonna do nothing.His wild eyes explain our mutual predicament—It’s all I got. One lady, her hair a wedding cake, festively dressed, a loaned purple-velvet jumpsuit, every angry-word aimed at missing the first bus. An unshaven man whimpering in the same clothes from last night cuts thankfully ahead of everyone in line explaining, Can I get my ticket? My bus is leaving, right now. The next one ain’t till midnight. I’m gonna miss Thanksgiving. Please does not escape his lips. Please, too weak for the bus station. Even the Fury nods her approval. In the bathroom a man drags a large, clear plastic bag of clothes. His thankful every-morning, since Leukemia’s piety swallowed his only child. An abysmal depression devoured his conjugal bed of sand. Cold water awakens his cheekbones. Ashy skin refusing the mirror’s reflection. Fifteen blocks from the bus station. An abandoned lot. Three thieves divvy the stranger’s belongings. Clean socks. A paper back book with no cover. The salted herring. A loaf of bread. Enough change to rent the corner for a few more hours. I had it all. The whole world in my mouth. Aboard the bus, clouds part over Houston.