Two Trains by Victoria Chang

—Kansas City and St. Louis
are 240 miles apart

A train leaves Kansas City
traveling at 60 miles an hour;

another leaves St. Louis at the
same time, traveling at 40 miles

an hour. Question: which train
will be farther from St. Louis

when the trains meet? Does it
matter that the woman on the

faster train is married to an
archaeologist who has dug up an

old coin? That he spends his
days and nights in his office studying

the girl on the coin? Or that the
woman could have an overnight

bag at her feet and the lover not?
Answer: when the trains meet,

they will be the same distance
from anywhere. And we’ll never

know if the girl on the coin is
barefoot, her legs dangling off

an old dock, or whether she is wearing
a skirt, or whether the lover on

the train has a suitcase with all of his
belongings under his seat.