by Olivia Macassey
Men who have buried four or more wives.
Shoplifters who compare prices before deciding.
Those who wear jeans very tight on their thighs.
Game fishermen. Therapists wearing disguises.
Women who sport false nipples;
who sidle up
to you sideways
with their eyes fixed on your vulnerable ankles.
Tax officials who phone up for a “friendly chat.”
Anyone born in the Year of the Zebra.
Those who keep giant slugs as pets.
People who wear socks with sandals
without being tourists. Everyone with stripy hair.
Those who sell condoms and phones in the street,
morticians who offer you something to eat,
butchers who leer “I bet you like some meat!”
Children with freckles, adults with glasses,
those who write speeches or take evening classes,
impatient suitors who don’t have the time, p
eople whose poetry slips into rhyme –
oh, and strangers, of course. Strangers.