as if defined only by absence

Again, the I5 has been reduced to one lane. Traffic is dismal, almost at a standstill. My bus crawls down the freeway like a wounded animal. The driver pressing brakes that sound like whimpering, the engine growling into motion like soft, tired determination, frustration gritted teeth against a broken bone. An hour late leaving the station, another hour lost to this lag, I do not get home until four in the morning, my bag a part of me, my clothes glued on. I tear into my bed, shedding my day like worn through skin, but cannot find my sleep. The bed is too still, too empty. There are no wheels underneath, no swaying highway lines. My pillows are too many. I am a ghost.