Up to This Point

I can recall the first time I saw you
leaving, the first
glimpse of your auburn mane; I
hoped you would be here, just for
the chance to speak with you.

Then you began to come through that
door routinely, sending silent smiles and
greetings of a genial, if surface, nature.

As time passed, I pined and poemed after you;
an ideal image with no validity.
My gut would clench, palms perspire,
tongue swell at the thought of your attention;
I craved for even the briefest exchange.

I finally inquired,
offering myself to you in an awkward way;
a coward unable to commit.
I left the choice in your hands;
how could I hold
your decision against you?

I recall these things, and with time
they lose their luster;
but now I have your attention
and, up to this point, I
had thought it a blessing.
Now, I’m not so sure.

by Erik Shinker

A Vision

She is a vision I once had,
though created by something far more powerful.
A reflection of Her,
immaculate in her beauty and grace.

Her smile, an ivory signal of
laughter and joy.
Hands,
delicate,
with long fingers to
caress and coax.
A slender frame, to
be held,
passing warmth from flesh to palm.

She is something beyond
possession, beyond
me.
She is all that is good in the world, and
I only ask for the attention to
let her know it.

But, I don’t know her, or
if she’d even want to know me.

by Erik Shinker

With Me?

Impatience drives my mind through
paranoid possibilities; burdened by
radio silence.
Reaching out, only to
recoil at the thought of
your touch.

What I think of myself
doesn’t matter;
positive and negative are negated.
Stuck in my self-prescribed safe zone,
restrained by my own misgivings and
lack of experience.

What
does she think of me?
If she thinks of me at all.
And, if she did, how would she feel
about spending her time…

by Erik Shinker

Le Noire

Starting with a misstep after
skipping over my own tongue.
Taken in stride by your
quick wit held aloft by
a charmed laugh.

Smitten by an
unexpected connection;
altered plans,
perhaps serendipitous,
led our paths to cross.
But, as ever, I am unsure;
past friendliness so often
mistaken for interest.

I play back our time
together; reminiscing already
in the wish of repeating.

I hope we meet again,
if only for another chance to
make a fool of myself
for you.

by Erik Shinker

Selfishness

I am fixated by
the way your laughter
explodes despite your
half-hearted attempts to stifle;
I would like to be the cause.

I think of how your smile reaches
your eyes; creasing in such a way
that only increases your beauty, your
honesty, your
splendor.

I want to sit and share
myself; to learn
about you.
Where you come from,
how we are similar, how
we are different.

I daydream of us speaking,
but each time we draw near I
am flummoxed, confounded,
and all the other synonyms listed
in the thesaurus.

There is a flurry in my chest at
even the thought of your proximity.
I want to impress you, to find out if
these feelings are just flattering fancy or
if the connection I feel truly exists.

I have been fooled before; attraction
can be such a burden to bear,
especially when it is carried alone.

But I am selfish; or
have you not
been paying attention?

I haven’t thought about
what you want;
not even once.

by Erik Shinker

Frustration

An unspoken barrier.
A pantomime in possibility
as I mentally rehearse
what it would be like to
take such a small step.

“Hello”
“Is this seat taken?”
“I’m such and such”
“It’s so nice to meet you.”

Introversion isn’t cute
when it becomes debilitating.
Am I afraid she’ll say no? Absolutely.
Am I afraid she’ll say yes? Even more so.

I understand the implication;
the effort and expense.
So, yet again,
apprehension gets the
best of me, and those
soft, quiet smiles are all
I have to look forward to.

by Erik Shinker

Crush(ed)

Each day I sit and
beg with silent plea as
she passes by my desk.

Speak to me, or
let me speak to her.
But I lack the
courage, the
will, the
want.
More afraid that
she’ll say yes
than no.

Each morning I look
forward to those stolen glances, the
shy smiles that could be chalked
up to simple manners.

I would like something,
more, but this is all
I deserve.

She deserves better than
to be hit on at work.
Besides, she would
rather speak to
another.

By Erik Shinker