I'm not lost, but I've lost something.
So I search this barren place,
from its faded floors
to its jaded ceilings,
at dusk and dawn each day,
but never do I find it,
because nobody ever looks up.
There's an anxious desperation in the air
as blurred silhouettes pass by
praying they aren't noticed
for they're far too busy to be captured
in the gaze of another.
They march so purposefully
with their heads down
and their phones up
as if to have found
in the way their screens fluoresce.
But it's a mere façade
- a disguise to go unnoticed.
For it's obvious none of them have it.
They're not lost, but they've lost something.
I can see it in their motions;
heavy and without passion.
When did it become so rare
to be anything other than this?
And I cannot help but wonder
if one were to fall upon the tracks
would they even notice?
And if they did, would they care?
And if they cared, would it be
because they felt something for a stranger
or because it inconvenienced them?
I'm not convinced anyone could answer with certainty
and so we flow by one another
and tied to our destinations
like schools of fish
reeled into a nine-to-five
that picks the joy from our bones.
We’re not drowning yet,
but we’re panicked by the pretence of it,
drifting by with outward purpose and inward misery.
We're too afraid to stop,
too afraid to look,
as though the sharks that swim among us
could snap us up at any moment,
and maybe there are sharks
from whom we hide ourselves
but that safeguard comes at a cost
for people like us
who are not lost, but have lost something.
It's rare but it shouldn't be
and I always thought that it couldn't be
found, yet I see it on your face right now
as you appear suddenly before me
and I realise, as our bodies float
across that space between two strangers,
you've gifted it to me
or at least a part of it
and I see it ever so boldly
as your lips upturn,
your cheeks are set aglow
and that dazzling wave of warmth
supplements my heart
while ringing through the walls
of this forsaken place
and I feel it spread across my face too
like yours did
in all its divinity.
It's wonderfully infectious,
and in this moment,
even the screeching of the trains
is music to my ears.
Finally, I've found it.
Then just like that, you're gone.
Evaporated into the crowd,
dragged back to the surface,
not pausing another second
to bask in the moment,
Yet that's all it took
to save me.
You've returned that precious thing I'd lost
and I know it comes with a duty
but I'll repay the debt I owe.
I'll pass it to a stranger
when I see that they've misplaced
that precious little rarity.
I'll lend it to the lonely ones
who are drowning amongst the crowd
and to the weathered ones
with concrete shoes and untamed hair
that are beckoned by the train line
because I know they're not lost, but they've lost something.
So in the briefest of moments,
I'll let them borrow mine
until they find
another reason to smile.