We were never formally introduced.
I had no idea who among them was really I?
It was like a discreet entourage.
Each one about the same height.
Variously dressed we took the subway
Stealing peeks at each other over newspapers.
In moments of danger, they made themselves
Where did they all disappear?
I asked some mugger one night
While he held a knife to my throat,
But he was spooked too,
Letting me go without a word,
Skipping over rain puddles
As if chased by his own shadow.
It was disconcerting, not to say criminal.
Flustered as I was, I reached
For the little black comb
I keep tucked in my breast pocket,
To run it through my hair once,
And make absolutely certain
At least one of us was still here.