Checkout Lady

You smile at me
every time I pop in to the store,
make polite conversation
about my purchases
as I mumble something or other
in response,
hoping the ground will open up
and swallow this middle-aged teenager
who has suddenly and inexplicably
lost the ability to speak coherently.
I notice your teeth,
how brilliantly white they are
and your hair,
dyed blonde.
Our hands touch
as you pass me my change.
I get goosebumps,
and hurriedly walk away.
You watch me go;
I can see your reflection
in the enormous window.
I long to ask you out,
you may want me to
but would say no,
as you’re a lady.
I’ve seen the gold band
you wear,
and I swear,
I too
could never hurt another
as I’ve been hurt,
and have hurt.
So I leave,
with your image in my mind
and your smile in my heart.