In ’79, in Davis, California,
I walked at evening twilight past the school
on Anderson, thoughtful, isolated
by uninterpretable traffic noise,
when another person’s life brushed past mine.

The rush of cars receded like a wave.
Distracted from myself, I paused
as a girl passed by on a bicycle, crying.
The air held still for a long, articulate moment
until the traffic resumed.
1 January 2008
A true story, though it’s been a long time and I may have misremembered or misreconstructed some details despite careful research. The perfectly timed lull in the traffic was eerie. Dedicated to S.P. The poem can also be taken as a reply to William Carlos Williams.