The Man on the Tube

Get off at the next stop. That’s what I told her
when I saw a flash that she’d be the next one
with scissors in the back of her head. Poor girl
followed me as if she had no choice. Had to be
only 18, 19—pretty as anything, too. It was
hard to remember my role in all of this:
not a villain, but not really a hero, either,
not a pair of arms to faint into, or a
happily-ever-after writing itself in a pub
after it was all over. I was meant
to be just a face on the train, a mystery,
someone she’ll think about and thank,
silently, years from now, when she’s
working in her art studio, maybe, or
tucking in beautiful children not made
with me. So I disappeared like the train,
like the men with their dead prize,
like the scissors—all of us gone to
become a story, so she could live hers.

The Corpse on the Tube

Do you see what I’m doing here? 🙂 Do you have a favorite urban legend with a character I could embody next? If so, please share it in the comments — shorthand title, keywords, or general gist. Thanks!


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