White Noise

Bitter and hot, the coffee slides down her throat.

Soft, tired eyes stare at nothing.

A distant intimacy envelops her.

 

A mother scrubs at a stain on a shirt.

It’s laundry day.

 

A woman calls her lover in the corner.

Where have you been?

Where are you going?

 

A teenager drags a large dog along.

Brutus, the neighborhood teddy bear.

 

A woman leans in to kiss her date.

A glimmer of vulnerability flits across her face.

Does he love me?

 

A man brushes a hair from a woman’s face.

A reflex tainted with the sadness of

Goodbye.

 

An irritated CEO snaps at the harried woman behind the counter.

Time is of the essence.

 

The air is suffused with

their habits,

their feelings,

their ambitions.

 

Dregs of coffee stain the floor

with remorse,

hatred,

love,

commitment.

 

She feels the world expanding.

She has never felt so small.

 

She’s taken aback by the

breathtaking realization of

life’s universal vividity.

A supple sort of sonder.

 

Her mother would have called it nosiness.

People watching.

 

And sitting there,

she remains invisible.

 

Nothing more than

the drone of a highway,

the blur of streetlights,

the flash of a neon sign that blinks

“Open.”

 

A girl drinking coffee.

An extra in a silent movie.

This poem is about: 
Our world

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