from Ellis, Underground

“With a turn of his head and through the shift of hair and clothing, she sees the tattoos staining his collarbone and disappearing over his shoulder. Bee-lined and there’s her question answered. He’s here and now she knows he only came for the candy.
“Used to keep these maple bits for me under the counter but the train was late, couple of Sundays.”
She doesn’t speak and this stranger.

He’s telling her about the boy. He can’t mean a train, there’s never been a train, only the boats over artery, over vein. He’s not a gardener but honey bees –

pollinate and that makes them three times as dangerous. The ring, the skirt. Glass-blue eyes and the way he looks at her and then she figures it out, some ding-ding-ding and lightbulb, it’d shatter from the shock of it.

He’s a Queen. Standing in a bombed out foodStore, telling her stories of a dead boy whose name she never knew.

That she’s too scared to ask.

“I saw the truck on Wednesday.” She lies. Says it to pretend she knows something he doesn’t. Thin and flimsy and he turns and smiles.

“The value of your information wouldn’t buy me a raindrop.”