A Natural Meeting Barrier

by Aaron Barth-Martinson

I really stared
I know it’s not polite to stare.
But the slits of her eyes were so narrow
I felt myself unnaturally squinting at her.
Because I wanted to know if she was looking at me—
Because she was an exotic Asian stereotype;
She had a math book in her little hands, moving her small circle lips,
Mouthing imaginary numbers to me.
Her hair was black black, that is describing the color of her hair;
(E.g. if her eyes were blue green; though, her eyes were also black)
She must have shampooed it one hundred times a day.
She moved her head sort of sideways when she smiled at me.
That made her hair move like those hippie-beads you find in loose doorways.
Her face was round and white but her cheeks were full with pink hue
I truly wanted
To ask if she used any make up.
Because I didn’t think she could look like a geisha naturally.
I decided she wasn’t wearing any, and if she was I didn’t care.
She wore so many clothes.
Not like those anime schoolgirls with tight tops and short skirts,
She had on an innocent pink dress like a tree peony flower,
That covered her skin on down to her ankles.
What flavorsome sugars were hidden from view?
She wore a black button coat opened up over her dress,
With bright purple slippers, pearls painted red;
They drew in my gaze to her gazelle neck.
I wanted to ease my hand around it to feel her pulse there.
I honestly needed
To say hello and goodbye,
But the barrier was our language.
So our smiles had to suffice.
If only I was in a band and could play her favorite techno music,
Was as smart as she was with math, in foreign languages,
To converse for a second, or ten decades with her.