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Social Etiquette

At the party,
you’re shoved into a room
because your feet keep pushing you around,
because they’re bossy and without direction,
because they realize that, without them,
you would never stand up for yourself.

The room has nothing for you,
and you,
nothing for it.

The only other organisms
are sewn into the bushel of beige carpet
and nestled under the rims of beer bottles,
solidified in cells of saliva.

Your feet push toward the hall
when another organism,
similar in size,
froths forward into the room
by the same footy misfortune.

You hesitate departure,
pretending your placement has purpose,
only to clear your throat
and let out a single interested hum,
looking at pictures on the wall
as if you’re still the only one:
a compulsive fidget of acknowledgement,
impersonal, impassive and indirect –
like being thirteen and uncomfortably shifting
your position on the couch
while watching a sex scene
in a movie
with your parents.

Turn to leave again,
orphaning your bottle
to its brethren.

Make eyes for the first time,
raise brows,
half smile,
as not to be rude.
Leave.