[the poetry billboard] - 'The Politics of Chancing Upon Your Ex' by Eisen
The Politics of Chancing Upon Your Ex


you sit next to me, on bus, thighs nearly touching
Almost betraying uncomfortable squirm
as you struggle to burn off excess energy
brought on by the rush of seeing someone you
did not want to see at first mention
but probably thought the other way in some
deep inner subconscious corner of mind.
Checking watch, scrutinizing imaginary spot
of intense interest somewhere between the door bell
and the exit sign.
The silence, the silence, the silence, hangs between
us like a heavy veil of musty lace and mouldy velvet,
suffocating, stifling, oppressing.
Silently praying for handphone to emit
unnecessarily loud ringtone indicating an incoming
SMS, or better, incoming call, a rescue buoy
thrown from some corner of suburbia.
Thrawling the inner recesses of your now-empty
mind for something remotely interesting,
possibly relating to one's mother, occupation
or the war in Iraq. Something to say, to pass off
as lame conversation to kill, to butcher, to massacre
the enormous hordes of time that lie in front of us.
Thrawling, yet taking immense care not to
snare your net on the hidden corals of unhappy
memories, unhappy memories, unhappy memories
that will raise a foul cloud of silt, polluting and
tarring the once-blue tranquil sea, possibly tearing
your fragile net, still fresh from repair and rehabilitation,
to shreds.
Wishing that our planned trajectories from Point X
to Home did not, did not, did not by twist of fate or
will of God, extrapolate and meet at bus-stop.
Wishing the devices of time could be rushed along at
top speed, but Einstein's Theory of Relativity is in
full swing here. Once put into motion, can't be stopped.
Two people, on the bus, silent, yet not silent.