The lady at the counter says hello and

asks what I want.  The look in your eye,

I would reply, but say, Whatever.


She seizes the intonation, my age and type,

the look in my eye, the store,

the light through the window,


the computer’s hum, her life…

and after 2 1/2 seconds enquires,



The word drifts through the air,

through the glass door,

into a street busy with passersby.


Its absence carries a shadow.