The Bad Plus

By Danielle Mitchell

Both the driver’s side tires of my car are flat. I’ve gotten on a
train. I only meant to ride one stop, to say goodbye to
someone. But the next stop is two hours away. They won’t
let me get off. I call my mother from the train. She cannot
help. I knew she couldn’t help & I don’t know why I called
her. But I always do. My body is considering jumping off the
train. My legs are shaking. My legs must know I am dreaming.
Legs are always the first to know. I don’t think I’ll survive the
jump. I don’t know who I was supposed to see; don’t know
how they mattered this much. I can feel dawn on me. This
must mean I should make my choice. The train is moving very
fast. I don’t want to be late. If I’m late there’s no way to get
back & I want to go home. But I always do. If I jump there is
nothing but darkness down there & if I survive I think I’ll like
it. It is some kind of ravine. Where you can see all the stars.
The stars are the last to know.


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