The Continuous City

by Travis Kurowski

The night sky was washed gray by city lights. Below, lines of buses stretched on for blocks in both directions along the mall, as though ships set to anchor. The reverberation of the diesel engines doubled back on itself, reflecting against the adjacent buildings; the surge of a power plant under a load. (Yet only blocks away: silence.) The buses vibrated patiently. As I approached on the sidewalk in the dark it seemed for a moment as though they secretly powered the entire, maniac city.

It was past ten o'clock. The mall ran along fifth and seventh avenues—fifth avenue buses headed north, the seventh avenue ones south. Each night I boarded the same number fourteen headed to Hawthorne Avenue across the river.

I took my seat. One engine awakened, then another. Out my window, a shopping cart was overfull with clothes and boxes, everything the same shade of brown. The two pairs of shoes. The jacket. The crowbar.