Kelly got sick on the bus,
a tin of Village green apple lip balm
sliding from her blazer pocket
right into the splatter.
It was the raw cookie dough that did it,
those warm balls of flour and sugar
snuck from Home Economics,
now spewed near the overpass
where boys had hurled a boulder onto Route 93
and killed the science teacher on her way home.
The coincidences collide.
Two stops over lived a Holocaust survivor
– near the Vo Tech, a prostitute
murdered by a Tufts professor –
and on one street every house had thyroid cancer
from the chemical plant, everyone said.
You could live in Andover and never know
the coincidences, the collisions,
When Kelly got sick on the bus,
she gathered her jacket, her bag,
stepped over the puddle
– her lip balm floating like a yolk –
and waited, eyes forward, as the door folded open
to take whatever stop came next.