Anita Mechler: Our World of Strangers

This world of strangers
Where we live willingly
At the wheel
And in the seat next to us.
Electronic surrogates all.
No reaching across a divide
If you don’t want to engage.

At the bus and train conductor’s mercy.
Jostle of stop and go.
Hot heads baking in the sun.
Musk of an enclosed space on a humid, rainy day.
Incongruous scents of the unwashed or perfumed.
An old man whose breath smells like death.
Blinding reflections off touch screens
Aren’t for me.
Distress signals held for our inner worlds

with eyes focused on one thing only.

Crossing streets, craning necks
As the action whirls by
The moon hangs solemnly
Too high to notice.

For the stranger next to me

or the stranger I’ve become.

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