Shame

I utter the word ‘hello,’
And reddened in the face
You look away
Hands in pockets
Lips a tight line
Containing a smirk
That’s for me, only mine

I know not what was said or done
But your embarrassment is palpable
I guess, I must be in the wrong
Later it will come to light
The tone of my voice wasn’t right
Or the way I stood or looked down
Or it was the way words sound
When coming out of my mouth

And the bashfulness on your face
Communicates to everyone
And like a virus it infects them all
Permeates the air
And I become
The cigarette end of jokes

And I, left in the ruins
Become the ash
Greyed and cemented
Into shame