fear has a coaxing human way.
like your bus friend sitting next to you
who loves your hand whispering,
“hold on to me. i know where’s home.”
a friend, nearly steady,
he arrives only with terror or her siblings.
else he is like smoke :
addictive intoxicant but disappearing.
no matter my age when we share this seat
my feet shrink to their saddle shoe days.
professionals say, “regression.”
i say, “holding hands without gripping.”
my eyes maintain a seeing-ness
that listens without digesting.
even so young I know
over this hill I will get off.