The Kid on Holiday

You can still get a ticket for the open-air bus
that runs through El Niño torrents,
destination to be revealed after you’ve paid
with the lunch money of your childhood.

You might fall off at a hairpin turn
into a gutter or gully washer.
The city ignores the bus.
The suburb snubs the bus.

A storm creaks open on rusted hinges.
You think you’ll get drenched.
You want the stubbornness of a deluge.
You want all hail to break loose.

It’s not about you and your parents
and what happened when you were little,
though the story is pleasant
if you leave out the hard parts.

And, yes, there was a telephone.
Do you remember its rotary dial
and the short cord attached to the wall?
There was no privacy, but nothing was ever recorded.

Water spits through the gap-teeth of the world.
A cloud drools on your shoulder.
You don’t even need your earbuds and galoshes
to love the piano notes of the puddle.