Ode to a Stranger

You – watching me, watching you, our eyes meeting for a split second in the darkened window of the speeding train before I gaze away, blushing, ashamed of having been caught watching. You, with your separate, parallel life, our paths crossing just for one commute, never destined to meet again. You, reminding me in your silence about the improbability of finding love, or peace, or happiness, here in this chaotic world; you, out of everyone I’ve met, and I almost turn to you and say, “You look so familiar,” but that is unacceptable in our world, or at least in the place from which we hail, and besides, once our paths are entangled, snake-shifting and twisting around each other, well, there’s no going back – it’s a small world, after all.


You – with your story, untold, unknown by me, hidden in plain sight behind your eyes, shrouded in some sort of mystery that I will never uncover. You, with your home and your life, your family and your plans, your future, your hopes, your dreams. You, and the feeling I’ve lost something by not asking your story, oh stranger on the train, watching me – watching you.


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