• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 09


There are many ways to talk to strangers.
You can ask, for one thing. The downside to this approach
Is that it’s hard for them to hear you through the glass.
You might try offering something – an umbrella, an anecdote,
A glimpse of your character – but you might be the type
Who prefers to listen. In which case
You could ask them about themselves,
But avoid inane comments about the weather
Or questions about what brings them to New York.
You’ve only got a moment
And what you really want to know is their feelings
About their upstairs neighbor – the last time their heart was broken –
Whether they’re pet people – or
What kind of sorrow backsplashed them like a puddle at the curb?
At the intersection of the awkward and the genuine
People lose their strangeness. It doesn’t matter
What you do, really.
Just talk.