Watching People: Who They Are and Who I Imagine Them to Be

Maria Giuliani

Middle-aged man
                scowling on the subway
                bitterness in his eyes
                more dense as the years go by
                his acoustic guitar
                propped against a corner wall
                dreams unheard, collecting dust
                as he collects empty paychecks.

Little girl in a hot pink tu-tu
                finds joy in the glow of the neon lights of a subway sign
                she thinks she is a star
                and says so.

Businessperson, shops solely at Holt Renfrew
                marching down the street
                never says “bless you” or “excuse me”
                never holds the door for those following behind
                to her calendar she is a whore
                doesn't yet know that at the gates of heaven profits are worthless
                and that her bank account will be drained by the government.

A couple walking together
                legs and vocabulary in sync
                he takes her elbow gently
                and leads her around a puddle
                as he hears the question in her voice,
                 which he'll respond to.

A broad-chested twenty-something
                a nice guy, or so he believes
                candid with words, is secure, or so he believes
                walks with a stride that diminishes with daylight
                 because he is a selfish lover,
                his eyes are cloudy.

A boy, honestly
                stares at my soul as we cross the street simultaneously
                in opposite fucking directions
                I saw myself swimming in clear blue waters.

                I like him.

Curly-haired girl
                walking with a beat and a red scarf
                corners of her lips curved upward
                I know she writes in and dog-ears her books
                because books are meant to be used.

                I like her.
                She is on her way to meet the blue-eyed boy.