Craving connection

I miss people —
Seeing strangers as human beings, not
potential health hazards or data points
plotted on a graph, gravely illustrated 
by Chris Witty.

I miss
Bumping shoulders with passers-by, or
Creating space on pavements,
 weaving between backpacks in the 
 bustle of rush hour, 
 bartering for our rite of passage.  

 Oh, to be on a dancefloor with a diva, 
 unaware of the space she's taking, 
 threatening me to bAcK-tHe-F*Ck-Up 
 or she'll call her boyfriend. 
 Give me a queue of people with no personal boundaries, except
 I'm not afraid of the invisible particles they're breathing
 down my neck. 

 I miss
 Navigating around daydreamers on their phone
 in narrow walkways. 
 When 'letting someone pass' didn't involve
 impending death 
 from oncoming traffic.

I miss 
Opening gates
in public parks or footpaths,
using my hands with oblivious self-assurance,
not a tentative, anxious elbow.

I want to host people in my house,
to hear about the route they took to get here, and
the sound our wine glasses make
as we cosy up on the sofa.

I want to hug them at the door,
without worrying 
about indirectly making my/their Nan ill. 
On the darker days I remind myself
that brighter days are coming.
For now,
I'm counting down the days until I can
See strangers as people.  

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