Batman can’t ride the bus.
I move to let him on. In fact I move a whole row to give him space and squash myself in a corner. The smell is so bad I think I might spill water from my eyes, so I pull my parka in front of my face.
Fur gets stuck to my chapstick and Spiderman has hands so black with dirt he must have gone beyond caring now. A silver ring stands out like a clean thing in mud, bright and old, although perhaps not so old.
‘Hey, mate.’ His best mate, or temporary mate because street-drunks always come in clusters, he calls form the door, because Spiderman perches on his seat like an over-heavy, fat bird, ugly like a city pigeon on the edge of that seat, the one by the door.
And when the bus turns he will crash to the floor –
cracked head, cracked ribs, and blood between the rubber lining that curls up around the far-far bottom of the seats.
He ain’t Batman,
Batman’s better than that.
He is just a spider, crawling from beneath a rock and up your back. He has venom dripping from his lips.