We hide our gazes in blue-lit boxes,
hurtling into the dark, dutifully ignoring the scene if we pass daylight,
sliding our glances away from the searing contact of other eyes.

After my morning meditation of group isolation
I rise to the fifth floor and wash the subway off my hands,
Having passed through the brood of escalators
with their squawks and sighs as they lift and sink
into the earth with their load,
clusters of socially impoverished commuters
blinking in the light as if it was a threat—
if ignored, might leave us alone.

I place my lunch in the fridge and murmur a word
to the girl passing me for coffee.
We do not know each other’s names,
for if we did, we would stop being alone.


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