Our subject isn’t cool, isn’t warm, isn’t quiet, isn’t loud.
She is simply a passenger
journeying inside a tube filled with bubbles,
and hers is burst suddenly, tearing her from the pages of the novel clutched in her hands
to the attention of the male specimen, tipsy as a timer,
demanding her number.
As if she is a prized doll for collectors.
Politely, she refuses.
The male specimen does not like this. He accuses her of prudishness.
As if that’s his business.
None of the other bubbles burst while this is going on.
They are content, floating away; raised voices bounce off them,
pleading looks erased by blank stares.
Her stop is close, the tube is slowing.
Our subject can get away this time.
Next time, let’s take away her escape route and see what happens.
I’d like to think that all the bubbles would burst then,
but my colleagues say the probability is low.
We’re not placing bets.