I’m bouncing on a bus listening to one side of a cell phone conversation. A thousand miles away or just across town I see her legs cross and uncross. I see her cradling a coffee mug two-handed with the apprehension of a child, the receiver resting on a bent shoulder, a bra strap and her ear.
I hear one side of the conversation, all the molested syllables and high-fructose intonations, like someone is speaking to a foreigner and so they shout, and I’m hearing one side of this conversation and I think someone must be heartbroken.
I’m picturing her looking out a window full of tears and I see her pupils fused to the corneas that weeks or years ago absorbed that first frozen-in-forever kiss, that gazed at his so-strong smile, all this leading to the meta-present nuclear heartbreak.
And I’m hearing forecasts as if the person I’m sitting next to is an emotional meteorologist and I’m hearing so much of this one-sided conversation that I don’t need to hear the other side because I’ve put the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle that grew damp in a basement, and the knobs still fit together and it’s fragile and the colored paper is pulling away from the cardboard backing but I can still make out the picture.
And I keep listening to one side of this conversation as if I’m stalking birds in an orange vest and every word is hidden in the grass near a pond and my finger is on the trigger just waiting for a vowel-speck to fly up into the sky where telephones wires can be, well, they can be anywhere these days, that’s why I’m always hearing one side of these conversations.