Yesterday I startled a cashier at Target.
She spends her days working machines that measure
money and spit out change —
not the change we need,
the change we get. Anyway,
I gave her my eyes
for a change. Only for a second,
but for real. The kindred loneliness in hers
drew us together for a second.
Today, I passed my wife in the kitchen, moving
around her to get to the coffee machine.
“Hey,” I said.
“What?” she said.
“I love you,” I said.
“iloveyoutoo,” she said.
But I stopped and touched her arm.
I took off my glasses and looked at her
before saying, “No, really. . .
I love you.”
She wrapped her arms around me
and we held on for a little while.
I want to live in a world where we look
for the buried gold in each other’s eyes.
I want to live where, if we’ve fallen prey to it,
we rouse ourselves from the slumber
of the numb and the mechanical
to rise up into our eyes
for each other.
It’s lonely out there.
The next time you look at someone,
don’t look at them. Let them see you instead.