How are you doing?  “Great! Fine.”

“Good. Well . . .” I smile. So do you.

Teeth gleam in rows under curved lips.

Our eyebrows raise, our eyes widen.


Then I walk away, hands in my pockets;

I don’t want you to see them shaking.

You turn, sliding on your sunglasses,

Masking tears and red-streaked eyes.


Our glazed-over gazes, hard-set smiles

Create an opaque, ever-thinning veil.

We’re damming the torrents of tumult

Rushing beneath our stained-glass faces.