by Michael Sandler
My greeting feels off-kilter,
the How are you? too quick, too loud.
Perhaps I’ve warped an intentto show we’re no different,my smile intense as if to maska catalogue of sins—but which? Ooga-booga epithets some spewto wall you off? A warding offof closeness, the attempts to shiftout of your lane as I speed upto remove a whit of clearance, the brake lines on emotion leaking?Or the oblique slips, closetedalmost, encased in a conscience pureas Venetian glass and well-inclinedthe way a bevel on some mirrorscan bend the truth of white light:those gazing from an angle noticethe colors, while I within the frameobserve a familiar, smiling self,the image blurring just at the edges.