Trolley Bus Ode

Trolley Bus Ode

(31 Balboa)

The trolley bus

reaches all the way down

to the turbine heart

below Hetch-Hetchy

well of whirring sustenance

for an electric soul

that strikes sparks from

a lightning guideway–

pair of paired sky lines

trace of the route

a map suspended in the air.

The trolley bus

walks the wires in carbon shoes

out of the tenderloin.

The first glimpse of the ocean

from Lone Mountain

comes as suddenly as white caps

bursting from the crest of a wave

and like a wave

the trolley bus surges up and down

while wading westward

steady steps toward the sea

even as the treads of a staircase.

Through twin pillars

in the heart of the 30s

where storefronts

bedecked in deco details

brand themselves Balboas,

while dune sand begins to

grind beneath the tires

which speak a secret language

written in yellow symbols

on the street surface,

sign of where the switches are.

By Playland at the Beach

the bus drinks deeply

through the live wire

sipping on a straw directly

from the reservoir of power

while turning east before the surging tide.