The FAB&PP Poem of the Month for May, 2005

there are the people that you recognize but do not know
you see them every day
on the train, on the street, shaking their cup, hawking their paper
some for years, features, even gaits, familiar as a lover or a friend
but they are unspoken, strangers

there are other people that you don’t know
passed in an instant’s observation snatched
their emotional lives exposed but hidden in the crowd
thrust forward but avoided as you walk on
their phones and friendships and annoyance and joy and quotidian conversation left behind

then there are the friends, co-workers, acquaintances who think of you as known
you treat them as if they’re real
you speak to them as if that moment was as serious as the sky behind you
but they are filtered through the fresnel focus of a few mutual angles in the light of time

only a stutter in a sleepless dream
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