Waiting Room


I wait around for you to wait around for me.

I know you notice when I stop noticing you.

The chair molds your slouch, you lean towards me

twitching the corner of your lip – tick, tick –

like the busted tail of a watch.

I think it’s funny how I’m not supposed to find you funny.

I swallow laughter as you project jokes (louder and louder)

and glare at me (longer and longer).

My eyes shift from floor to ceiling,

sizing up the space between us.

We are one love seat away from

some thigh-pressed, shoulder-snugged action;

I thank God that there’s a table there instead,

and that the seat next to me is taken.

A girl is sitting next to me; I can’t recall her name.

You two boomerang inside jokes back and forth;

I’m the wall between you two – getting jabbed with

punchlines and sending back laughter ornamented

with choking, squealing and heavy breathing.

I keep my eyes on my laptop, your friend keeps her eyes on me.

You keep your eyes on her keeping her eyes on me.

Your friend and I share a laugh;

her fingers accompany mine as they trot along my keyboard.

I know you want to ask, “What’s so funny?”

I know you think we’d answer, “You.”

Instead I feel your arm shawl my shoulders;

you slip in the crevice between my thigh and the armrest.

Now we are thigh-pressed, shoulder-snugged.

I wait around for you to wait around for me.

I know you notice when I stop noticing you.

Your friend moves closer.

Now we, too are thigh-pressed, shoulder-snugged.

I’m no longer the wall it seems, when you start talking to me.

The night continues, you burrow yourself deeper into the crevice.

Night envelops morning; I pack up my stuff.

You try to make plans, ask of my whereabouts before we exchange goodbyes.

“When will I see you again?”

I shrug.

We were thigh-pressed, shoulder-snugged;

I don’t know how much closer we could get.

“I don’t know.”

You were waiting around waiting for me.

I never noticed how much you noticed me.

I leave. Time is up.

I imagine that once the door closed with a click,

the corner of your lips ticked into a frown.

You knew I no longer took the time

to wait around for you.


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