What about the invisible wheelchair?
she asked. Who drives it? Where do its wheels rest?
Nowhere, child. Sit still. There are things you must
pretend not to see. Is anything there
now? No. So hush, child, hush. We do not point
at wooden legs or laugh at injured words—
not out loud. We behave. She wants to stir
this bus like soup, she says. She likes that faint
anarchic tang of people you can’t see.
Yes, he says, patient as a lollipop
and twice as sticky, of course. Now please, smile
at him. Remember, he spots your bruised knees
and imperfect mouth. Now ring for the stop,
then ask for the knife. Hop off, hop off, child.
Mark J. Mitchell’s latest novel The Magic War just appeared from Loose Leaves Publishing. He studied writing at UC Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver and George Hitchcock. His work has appeared in the several anthologies and hundreds of periodicals. Three of his chapbooks—Three Visitors, Lent, 1999, and Artifacts and Relics—and the novel Knight Prisoner are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. He lives with his wife Joan Juster and makes a living pointing out pretty things in San Francisco.