In the middle of a shabby

council estate, a girl gets on the bus.

She is wrong.

Something about her is wrong.

She is in the wrong place. She is in the wrong

time. She wears clothes from the forties,

fifties maybe.

She is impeccable.

This is a word I never use but

it suits her, it fits her

as well as her clothes. She wears big, round

spectacles, just the right size for her roseapple

face. Blonde hair curls out from beneath a

hat, I don’t know the style name, it is plain,

like something a flapper would wear. Her jacket,

lincoln green, is cut just right, flared, resting on

her hips. Her skirt, a plaid material, faint check,

moulds to her figure. Incongruous, she wears

beatbox headphones, clamped over the hat.

She mounts the bus from a shitty street,

where I have seen shitty people do

shitty things to other people.

How did she make herself this way,

here, in this place?

She sits behind me and I

can’t look. Thinking about her, I drift off

and almost miss her when she gets up

and leaves the bus a few stops later.

I know I will never

see her again. I will never be able

to say to her,

“You are magnificent.”

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