invisible walls

there is a pretty girl
sitting in a corner of this cafe
her back to a window
with drawn shades
shadow trailing down her arm

if we were in a another city
in another time
i might look long enough
for her to notice me
noticing her

and that thing might happen
where a door opens
in the invisible wall
that stands between strangers

if i were feeling
a little bit adventurous
i might take a step
over the threshold

say something pedestrian
like, “i like your shirt”
or “how are you?” or
“it’s hot today, isn’t it?”

and then…

i don’t know what would
come next.

there could be lust,
or love, or friendship,
or a nice conversation
that slowly fades
from memory

there could be
nothing more
than that hello.

it can be such a frightening thing
to breach those invisible walls
stand quivering on the edge
of someone else’s world
inviting your personal
catastrophe inside.