I Avert My Eyes


Image by aepoc via Flickr

I wrote this one today. I often feel like this in public places. My emotion starts out as self-consciousness, then gradually spins into something else entirely.

Your gaze meets mine.

As nobodies,

we pass on the street.

Is it stranger danger I fear?

Too scared to murmur a polite hello.

I avert my eyes.


You’re my new co-worker.

The friendly, spunky sort.

I like you,

what you’re saying.

We could be friends.

I avert my eyes.


I recall a peculiar Kevin.

Fourth grade. I didn’t mean to stare.

He was just so tiny, I was intrigued.

He’d catch me gawking, glare at me.

I’d avert my eyes.


I catch you looking at me.

Perhaps we’re at a bar.

Dimly lit. Smoky, like the good ol’ days.

Maybe you were about to buy me a drink.

Too risky—

I avert my eyes.


You’re a girl about my age.

I love your scarf. Your nose ring.

Your whole vibe in general.

I should compliment you.


I avert my eyes.


I look at you, looking at me

as we pass in the grocery store.

Is there something on my face?

Only my obtrusive optics.

They’re too bright.

I avert my eyes.


Do my eyes…

Pierce your skull?

Burn your soul?

Why do I feel mine can’t dare meet yours?

Do you fear your secrets exposed?

Don’t worry…


As your gaze meets mine,

we’ll simply pass as nobodies,

on the street.

I know now they’re

Dangerous. Daunting. Electric.

I’ll avert my eyes.


About AmbleDamsel

Truthfully, I’m writing this blog because I’m too much of a wimp to share my poems with most people I know. I’m hoping this blog will be a way to get honest feedback about them, without offending anyone. I generally prefer to write privately, and with pen and paper. There’s just something much more therapeutic & enjoyable about actually handwriting something–a better feeling than any lousy keyboard could ever give me! People who inspire me: John Lennon, Keri Smith, Sabrina Ward Harrison, Conor Oberst, Ethel Kennedy, Brooks Strause, Charles Bukowski, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, E.E. Cummings, Charles Dickens, Henry Darger, and Orly Avineri.

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