I sometimes look at people as if they’re dead,
not worth considering,
altogether nonexistent because I don’t
want them to know
how interested I am in them.
I do this at the mall when I pass people,
and sometimes on campus when I glance
and see that their face is turned
towards mine, that their eyes are seeking,
that they are looking straight at me.
When I’m sitting in class and a pretty girl
walks by, or when I’m walking to my office
and see someone, I’ll keep my face carefully blank.
I’m married. I have a wedding ring on. I’m not looking
for a phone number. I’m afraid they’ll catch me glancing.
I’m nothing. It’s not worth their noticing
that I’m looking at them, and besides, what must
they be thinking? I probably look
like some creepy old guy, on top of which
I’m married. They probably think I’m horrible.
So I act like it was an accident, a chance
meeting of gazes, a non-occasion. I move on,
and they move on, and we forget. I pretend
that I think nothing of them because I want them
to think nothing of me. I want them to not notice
it makes me a little sad each time.