Dismissals – on considering responses to things

That same girl passes him in the hallway, more aloof than ever;

like the neighborhood cat that pisses on my door.

There is no response to the constant

calling of her name. Just an unambitious purr,

the casual dismissal of a creature to

unreasonable expectations.


I passed him on the street yesterday,

that guy I met at the poetry reading.

It was hard keeping his eyes long enough

to finish a sentence, let alone fragments

of a conversation fraught with the dismissal of a

 “yes, it’s really me here” mystique.


She stood with a cardboard sign that read

hungry and unemployed with kids pls help god bless

I could see her through the Starbucks window

where my second Americano was already cold.

That second guy wasn’t as good as the first.

He never leaves me room for cream.

Is that too much to ask?


She wasn’t typically a make-up gal

preferring the girl next door simplicity

of less-is -more. But tonight

she dressed up, even eyeliner and dark,

red lipstick and skin-tight black dress.

He glanced at her twice at dinner

through the glare of his cell phone screen,

 that never dimmed.


I sometimes shudder to think what remains

in the shadows of what’s left after encounters

dense with the unwieldy results of non-praise,

of missing the open doors, sips not taken from

frosty mugs of welcome, the sleepy

dismissals of what’s right now,

hesitant on the stoop of another’s hopes.

What can they expect from me?

Gratitude? Platitudes? Assuredness? Distraction?

A snotty hanky full of rare humility, raw and pink?


The game starts in half an hour.

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