Admit Nothing

by Catherine Davis


Escalator in the Metro, 2 A.M. Is it really a quarter mile long, this stairway to heaven?  She confessed as much, and her fear of it. She tows a big red suitcase, lanky line-jumping bitch from the crush of the entrance. Here, at the end of the line, there's none but the two of us traveling in the half-lit fluorescence.  She smiles up at me, pale and strained - gratefully, uncertainly - as my bulk blocks her view of ascension into the abyss. Foot to her shoulder and push. Cartwheeling game of leapfrog, human and baggage, down an up-moving staircase. Finally, her neck rests at an odd angle — she only moves when the electric stairway rolls her over again. Bump, bump, bump. Last look, copper curls waving on the slotted steel.


The ticket out: “ADMIT NOTHING.”