The Lives of Invisible People

corazon_salvaje_Jose Loren

In the coffee shop
watching all the invisible people.
The Chinese cellist
reading aloud without a sound,
the two men nearby
trying to flirt inconspicuously,
—do we hide our love out of consideration
Or shyness
Or lust for our own secrecy?—
The chubby blonde
with an Adele top bun;
She always looks upset.
The bad violist my friend,
the section leader,
claims is mean.
I only know her poor fingering,
bad bowing,
and the addiction to her

She, us, all.
I’ve heard this song before.
The red capped Korean boy
with enough hair popped out
to look cool – or disheveled – or disturbed.
White girls at a table in darkness
speaking of boys who will never know.
Black girls on the lighted couches
speaking of boys who will never know.
Ginger with bad black highlights.
(what the hell – why.
Am I turned off, on?)
Boy with hungry dark eyes,
high above the ceiling,
thinking about me
or not.

Music playing probably
Pizza man feeling rushed
But no – he smiled.
They’re all kind, I bet,
and happy.
All above their lives, this place,
Organized enough to sit with friends over coffee
reading poetry for an event no one heard about
to ears behind headphones,
ears buzzing with another’s laughter,
tingling beneath the touch of lips.

All invisible people,
leading their invisible lives
no one notices
except the watchers
who are – of course –


The featured image accompanying this poem, entitled ‘Corazon Salvaje’, has been used with the permission of artist, Jose Lopez.

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