Maxine Tynes

Don't Give Me Looks

Don't give me looks that put me in my place
that open my mail
that smell me coming and going, and see me everywhere.
Don't give me looks made of plastic smiles
reserved for co-workers who rush past
on a wave of caffeine and nicotine,
letting "How are you?" drift and hang in the air.
You say, "Fine!" neither hearing nor meaning it.
Don't give me those looks.
Don't give me looks full of hell and damn
and who cares? who cares?
that flap on the line like clothes in the wind
that ring and ring like a telephone in an empty room
that flicker white and snowy, like the telly at midnight
that are snowblind in August
that are full of all the rest of the world
and not me.