by Christina Frei

A woman stood on the underground platform
contemplating death.
It was not the first time it had crossed her mind
that to jump in the path of a subway train
would be such a relief from her empty life,
and anyway, she was so tired.
She dared not look around
at the many people behind her,
_______standing and waiting. She did not want to draw
_______unnecessary attention upon herself.
What if someone could tell, she thought,
_______what her intentions were.
_______Perhaps it was too obvious,
in her fixed stare and the quiver of her set jaw.
_______And now someone was coming over to talk to her.
What would she say to him?
How would she explain why she was standing here
too close to the edge of the platform.
He would surely advise her to step behind the yellow line,
and what if he would stay to chat with her,
and to secretly make certain she did not come to harm.
And perhaps he would then want
to ask her out to dinner and a movie, and after they married,
in front of a white-haired Justice of the Peace,
they would joke about the time
she was about to kill herself
and he saved her life.
But no. He only asked her if she knew the time.
Quarter past 6. And then he walked away.
Her exact moment of death would be etched
on the face of this watch.
She could feel the rumble of the oncoming train
and hear it’s powerful engine roaring,
its headlights playing on the walls of the tunnel
like searchlights from a rescue mission
just to the left of where she stood.
A strong gust of wind came with it.
Now! She thought. Do it Now!
But she stayed glued to the platform,
letting the train glide by her, snake-like
until she and all the other nameless commuters,
and the man who would have been her husband
were swallowed up and carried away.

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