You sit next to me with other seats spare,
On the back of my head I feel your stare.
I grit my teeth and peer out the window,
The coach starts moving, grumbling, slow.
You spread out your knees, I pull away mine,
You’re in my space, I pretend it’s fine,
Then your elbow is, for some reason, resting
On my hip. My whole body’s protesting.
For a while I think, am I being unkind?
Why do I care when he doesn’t mind?
So I move out your way but you follow me,
Spreading out further not letting me free.
I adjust my position to give myself space,
I turn and see the look on your face
As you move your arm over, pressing,
Touching my body, almost caressing.
Get off me. You’re disgusting. And intimidating.
Your intentional touch is violating.
My whole focus centred on how much I’m hating
Your presence, your dominance is suffocating.
I muster my bravery and push you away,
I regret touching you as the skin memory stays,
I take a deep breath and I start to relax,
But it’s not long before your arm is back.
I’m ignoring, I’m ignoring, I’m ignoring you.
I’ve tried everything, what else can I do?
And just when I think to myself, I can’t take it,
You speak to me, flirtily, sleezily, I feel naked.
Passively, English-ly, I reply to your questions,
I try to be nice, I keep my expression
Courteous and cool, it’s not in my nature
To be mean to a stranger.
You ask for my headphone, I hand one over,
I give you my phone too, like a pushover.
You play songs I don’t like whilst smiling at me,
You ask if I like them. Do I have a choice but to agree?
You steal my attention for the rest of the trip,
Still pushing your elbow into my hip.
We, finally, arrive at our destination,
Relieved, but angry and hurt by your predation.
I try to escape but I find that you’re following,
Glancing at me, you hold out your hand offering
Help or assistance, can you ride in my taxi?
No, you can’t, I’m sorry. Why the fuck am I saying sorry!?
You ask for my number, to see me again!?
Do you really, can’t seriously!? think that we’re friends!?
I smile apologetically, a meek shake of the head,
“No and fuck off”, I should have said.
I get in my uber, I’m finally alone,
So thankful and grateful I’m almost home.
But the anger remains, at my own passivity,
I berate myself and my sensitivity.