We both know that he only wants to criticize.
The train rolls on, works looms.
I had hoped to get in a few pages, but no.
The skull in the book won't shut his pie hole.
I tell him it's about a woman
whose husband has a secret;
it's about a girl
who hears voices from her closet,
and it's about a cat
who stays on the stairs in the dark, watching.
The skull in the book scoffs.
He wants spies and intrigue and sex.
"There is, Skully," I say.
For a while I describe the scenery to him.
He hasn't got eyes, but he has curiosity.
He tells me to kiss him, he's a Prince.
At my stop, I tire of it all,
and discard my book with the skull in it.
I can hear him, fuming inside the barrel with the coffee cups
and McMuffin wrappers.
I think I won't go to work.
I stand there for a second, stupid and a little afraid,
like a woman who wakes up not knowing where she is,
how she got there, what this strange body is
or why she's inside it, casting about for a clue.